Monday, January 27, 2014

Sharon Dolin

Sharon Dolin [Collected Poets Series]

from Sharon Dolin's Whirlwind:

For I Will Consider the Overlooked Dragonfly

How it is often a damselfly, skimmer, or darner
How it belies the idea that we invented neon
How it mates while in flight, laying eggs on the pond lilies
How its blues are purples, its browns, reds
How unfearful it is of the human body
How one will come to bask on my forearm, foot, or the arm of my deck chair
How I praise the way it eats the larvae of biting insects
How a Variable Dancer in lavender and black alighted as I wrote this
For I praise them, not needing to search for dragonflies (the way birders search for 
           birds) but let them fly to me
For sometimes their wings have stigma and in the wind I watch their wings and 
           abdomen sway while their head and thorax are still
For this one's a male whose spider-web wings and abdomen are tipped sky-blue
For might it be the same damselfly that alights on the arm of my chair as I write
For his bulgy compound-eyes, what do they see
For his violet thorax the color of a flower
For the honeybees grazing the sea honeysuckle
           and the hummingbirds on the mimosa blooms
For their pond world which is oblivious to names
For ours with its naming obsession
For the only way I desire to catch one is with the net of my eyes
For some say a damselfly is a weak flier compared to a dragonfly
For the male clasps the female's head with the end of its abdomen while mating
For we call mating pairs a copulation wheel but I say they look like a backwards 3
For it flies from spring through late summer (though they live for only a few weeks)
For some darters and skimmers migrate south and the ones returning are their
           children or grand- or great-grandchildren or
For after the storm a male white-faced Meadowhawk, its thorax and abdomen
           pomegranate-red, has come to bask in the windy sun
For the wind, the wind, which causes a stirring within the stillness
           and a stillness within the stirring

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