Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Damselfly on twig


I chase the
hunger moon
across the daywhite sky,
flat as a stingray, blue-brief
as a damselfly's eye,
as erratic she skitters
flicking shed silver cells
from roof to tree,
stylus of cloud carapace
leaking dark inked storm,  
a broken insect
clutched too close by night.

Could she dream
compressed in the chrysalis
before time twitched?
Torn from planet-flesh, redrawn
stripped of softness, pulled,
twisted, spine fruiting wings,
pocked eyes on a crescent tail
ever shapeshifting shackled in place
turned on a lathe of molecular blades, 
a censer swung in sulphur shadow
slow-flensed towards form
for the round-faced ringtoss flight.

Her dwarf metamorphosis
pretends to be vast, portent
of endtimes, war and blood;
the birth of something
or the death, assumes it's bigger
than a minute's cipher claws
working at the wrack of Newton's Laws.
She comes out to waltz her tiny mass
wet winged, wears wild winking diamonds
tiara'd running lights,

sweet stars or comets, drip-
dangled planets, all
her stick thin soul for sky's delight--
or so I scanned it
before I saw your shell,
floating husk bobbing
in the black well lit by witchlight
fathoms deep, where
indigo gods whisper
too low for your basilisk ear,

as I change and change again
in the song you'll never hear.

~February 2013

Ebony Jewelwing damselfly wings open

Hover mouse over pictures for image credits or click to follow links to photographer's page at fick'r Creative Commons.


  1. this is pure beauty coming off the tongue. I imagine it read in your voice. The repetition of sounds and shapes is incredibly masterful, Hedge. Mythical and musical. I love this. It is one to study closely and savor over and over.

  2. Gorgeous, hedgewitch. I don't know what else I could say!

  3. ever shapeshifting shackled in place
    turned on a lathe of molecular blades,

    nice lines...and great thumping beat through out...i particularly fell for the intalicized lines but really the rhythm was enchanting...what a bit at the end...in the song you'll never hear...ha...i read that with a like penache...

  4. Well, any poem that uses the word slow-flensed has me from the get-go. What a great word, among many others, and wonderful sound - I was re-reading this more carefully, and I realized that it is truly the moon you are describing here - is that right? The moon and the insect or the moon as insect - that it's the moon shedding all those silver cells and you are sort of singing to the moon, until you see this deep reflection =- I don't know - am I making that up? But it really does seem to make sense to me with all the portents, etc, and the beautiful changes, and the light- if so, I think you almost do yourself a disservice with the beautiful photos, as I at least got caught up in them at first and kept focusing on the insect rather than the imagery you paint. But when I read more carefully, I keep thinking of the moon in the way Shakespeare describes it - particularly in Romeo & Juliet - where it is both praised and castigated - and at the end the moon seems more scarab than damselfly.

    But you know I am terribly tired tonight so may not be reading in any coherent way. k.

    1. More a scarab, indeed. Yes, I'm mostly talking about the moon (and about all the things moon means) as an insect. It's okay that you focused on the insect--that's what I wrote about, and it's all part of the same metaphor. But I probably should have a picture of the moon in there somewhere.

      Your tired brain is doing just fine. Hope you get some rest, and rejuice yourself,k.

    2. Thanks. I am doing a big part of a move tomorrow, so going to work amidst piles of boxes. I will still be here a bit longer, but want to get as much moved out as I can early. k.

  5. Holy howling wow. Witch music. No other way to describe the way this slithers.

  6. I thought the "stylus of cloud carapace" was really good until I got to

    "drip-dangled planets, all
    her stick thin soul for sky's delight".

    And then there's that ending couplet, so poignant, mysterious and sad. Such a way you have of weaving the smallest denizens of the natural world in with the mythic and the unknowable.

  7. Beautiful poem to a beautiful insect.

  8. Briefly saw other one but on phone so couldn't truly read well. Enjoyed sense of humor. thought it a hard topic, myself. k.


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

Comment Moderation Has Been Enabled