Jack London tribute poem

By Jack London

I saw a man open an iris petal.
He ran his finger underneath the edge,
unfolded it, and smoothed it out a little,
not as one guilty of a sacrilege —
because he knew flowers, and understood
that what he did would maybe help them grow —
though for a moment he was almost God.
Alone as we are, growing is so slow.
I think of one who tried like that to unfold
the margin of his life where it was curled,
to see into the shadows shot with gold
that lie in iris hues about the world.
Because he dared to touch the sacred rim,
     does God resent this eagerness in him?