Why Leaves Turn Red

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Written by Gritfish

Why Leaves Turn Red


I

In the chilly autumn season,
Leaves turn red, but what's the reason?
Some say it's anthocyanin;
Others: "No, rhodoxanthin".
That such pigments come forth in fall
Is obvious to observers all—
But deeply, what is the etiology?

II

Cold, bright light damages chloroplasts;
Protective red blocks photic blasts.
As for mechanics, see Jack Frost
Painting, even as his legend's lost.
As for the tree, what is its goal?
Does this life form have a soul?
Deeply, what is the teleology?

III

Why does the jaunty songbird sing
And why do wildflowers bloom in spring?
Bats at twilight grace the sky,
Coral reef and butterfly.
Such good souls embrace a dharmic duty
To imbue this plane with cosmic beauty.


                                                                                    Gritfish
                                                                                    © 2002

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