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Wednesday, 8 October 2014


 Dragonfly on marsh grass near Sarpy Basin, Montana: photo by Boyd Norton (1936-) for the Environmental Protection Agency' project Documerica, June 1973  (U.S. National Archives)

If you are a simple mortal, do not speak
of tomorrow or how long this man may be
among the happy, for change comes suddenly
like the shining flight of a dragonfly.

Simonides of Ceos (c. 556-468 BC): Flux, translated by Willis Barnstone in Greek Lyric Poetry, 1962

Kirby's Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi), Tsumeb, Namibia: photo by Hans Hillewaert, 7 June 2007

shimmering day
haze of evanescence

at the rock pond
the red darters

and flame skimmers

slowly circulated
above the slowly

circulating koi


Concrete pond stocked with ornamental fish [koi]: photo by Hardyplants, 17 January 2009

18th day
Today also,
in the spring haze,
today also.


18th day: came dragonflies from pen...

18th day & dragonfly drawings: TC, from
Cold Spring: A Diary, 2000


Ruby Meadowhawk Flame Skimmer (Libellula saturata), male: photo by Regular Daddy, May 2008

Yellow-winged Darter (Sympetrum flaveolum)
: photo by André Karwath, 13 July 2005


Marcia said...

Tom, Yet another lovely post reflecting life's sudden changes that occur as do the ones of Nature. Many thanks for giving so much to contemplate each time you post a blog. - Marcia

TC said...

Thanks very much, Marcia. You've always been a great reader, and this time you've condensed the gist of the thing into a few perfect words.

In ageing we're all accustomed to the slow changes that seem at some point to bring us up short, catch us unawares. In this case however the whole collapse of the unit seems to have been contained in an accidental event (getting hit by a car), aggravated by its aftermath to leave me unable to move very far, and once in slow motion, to tend inexorably to come to a halt.

It was in the course of several of the many resultant pauses for reflection in the slow loitering progress toward oblivion that I began to notice the small things... and of course, the small things are pretty much everything.

The bright red dragonflies hovering over the bright red fish.
Some natural law of chromatic attraction at work?

At length I encountered the owner of the pond, and helpfully pointed out what had seemed to me an observation of no small significance, even in the greater scheme of things.

And, hastening past to get into her car, she said, not very patiently and without much apparent interest, No, I'd never noticed that.

Anonymous said...

words and pictures...amazing !!

TC said...

Gracias, Sandra.