Under the bridge, the water dipper dips
Sipping from the pond’s glassy surface.
Imperviously, old glassy flits
Glittering twin wings that stir less
Yet spurring farther, faster,
Mastering the stillness of Zen
So when the perfect aster
Blasts her purple arms open
Cupping a small feast,
Peacefully there. The taut bow
Explodes, the arrow released
Easily takes the insect below.
She is an artist dipping a paintbrush,
Crushing her tail in the green lily pad.
Gladly her masterpiece rushed,
Lushly tinting tomorrow’s naiads.
*Author’s note: Today’s challenge comes from Debbie and you guessed it: it’s about a dragonfly. Now, I did a little research and dragonflies
are called “old glassy” in China and “water dipper” in England, so I thought to include this little fact in the poem. I also was sweating bullets over this one because, as you can see, whatever word I ended with each line I started with (in part–not counting suffixes to the root word, like “-ing” or “-ly”. Not only that I had to keep to an ABAB rhyme scheme. And yes, they are not perfect rhymes (so sue me) but I like that about this poem–not just because it made it easier on me–but because I felt this gave the dragonfly a feel of freedom–that captures the theme: nothing is perfect, but you just go with it.
I did have to get rid of a stanza that didn’t fit and made me quite sad in end result. I am including it here because I think it’s a message worth viewing:
“Stillness of body and stillness of mind
Finds the moment of when
An action of waiting is not to resign
From design, but the path to fulfillment’s end.”
It was too obvious and lacked the splash of color and motion I was trying to create for the poem…but here is the lesson I learned in meditating upon the symbolism of a dragonfly and how it hunts: it hovers and waits and strikes so fast that its prey didn’t even know what hit them. Sometimes, it may appear that your goal or dream is lost, but it isn’t–so long as you don’t lose sight of it all. So long as you keep it in mind and know that sometimes you just have to WAIT for the right moment.
Lastly, I wanted to comment about when the dragonfly lays her eggs. I couldn’t work in the mating of the dragonfly as it felt crass (not the act itself–that I find beautiful, of course) and cliche all in one. What would I write about? The two becoming one, and perfect unity? Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now? Eh…no thanks. I’ll pass. But I think life is a hum of give and take…to know when to accept and when to release. That’s all I wanted to say about it but the words did not come so that will have to be a poem for another day.