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Thursday 28 July 2011

Lost Muse

She always came before I'd thought to call
before I knew I'd needed her
and always as a damsel fly who'd trace
wide, rhythmic circles round my head,
their tempo and their rise and fall
a pattern for the treble line
that had been bothering me - or else
she'd sit contentedly
on my right shoulder, feeding me
the key lines for my wayward verse.

There was that one day she would never come:
the day before the winter solstice, but apart
from that, she answered every need.

And then one day, her special day in fact,
a winter solstice eve, she came. Her dance
no longer rhythmic; more demonic, I would
say, more like the way a fly goes wild and
uncontrolled approaching death by spray.
She scurried, streaked, dived, worried
me so much, I followed when she left.

She took me through the copse,
across the water meadow,
along the path beside the hammer pond
and out onto the open moor.
I hardly noticed in my effort to keep up
how dark the sky had suddenly become.
Still erratic, and by this time, ground hopping,
hardly rising from it as I climbed
the steepest rise of all towards her
and what would be my final sight of her.
She made a swoop behind it
and was gone. In that last moment,
as I closed my eyes and tried to hold
the image of her in my mind,
without my seeing it, the day
became the night. Then looking round
to get my bearings, seeing nothing
for a while, I finally was met
with one of this world's sights (or so
I've always thought): the glow worms
out in force, and not just out,
but organised, as though my damsel fly
was orchestrating them, instructing them
in dance routines she'd made her own.
They did not have the sweep and brio
her flights had: their forms were heavier,
their beetle wings less flexible, more heavy metal,
but yet their lights and motions both, were sexual,
and somehow their more sober movements
conveyed this to me in their dance.

My music changed, but later, when great fame
embraced me, I was gratified to find
her input recognised: the style I'd pioneered
became known for a while as "damsel" music.


David Cranmer said...

"A damsel fly." Sharp imagery, Dave. And the whole poem is skillfully done.

Jeanne Estridge said...

"Sweep and brio...."

That's why I love you.

CiCi said...

You seem to find inspiration in all of nature. Your wit spills over in this post. I was there through the entire read. Great writing.

vivinfrance said...

That is one heck of a gorgeous poem. Your love of nature shines throughout. I didn't know that damsel flies lived as late as the winter solstice - nor glow worms for that matter.

jabblog said...

This is wonderful, Dave - I kept thinking it was rhyming but it's the tight rhythm that makes it seem so.

kaykuala said...

Glow-worms and damsel flies working together! Very good observation techniques that you have can bring rich dividends. Wonderful poem and thanks for sharing!

Windsmoke. said...

Very vivid imagery, i especially like the part where the damsel fly conducts dance routines for the glow worms :-).

Brian Miller said...

dave i love your imagery and you kept me pinned tight through the verse...and tale...well spun man.

Dave King said...

Grateful for the comment. Thank you.

Wow! Thanks doesn't seem enough!

The sort of reader I appreciate. Thanks for saying.

You are right, of course: I don't believe damsel flies do live either that late in the year or for that length of time, but the damsel fly was a daemon taking the form of a fly, so I gave her poetic license to live on a bit! (Years, actually!) I don't have any excuse for the glow worms - maybe it was down to global warming! Much thanks for your very kind response.

There are some near misses and some internal rhymes, but you're right: I did concentrate on the rhythms.

And very grateful I am to you for your comments. Much appreciated.

Ah yes... if she in fact did. Thanks for responding.

That's good to know. Thank you very much for the feedback. It is valued.

Mary said...

Another mesmerizing poem, Dave. I also appreciate your knowledge of nature!