With the full privilege of a month in a Himalayan hut, I was granted the rare liberty of observing a common fly for a period not too removed of two hours. I’d avoided flies in Rishikesh: they’d usually flown hot, straight from a homeless and vomiting cow’s arse. But here in the flowery mountains, I imagined this one had just danced from a pink rose or at worst had been pestering a butterfly. You may think that flies are just black dots that you brush off, but I firmly advocate closer inspection. A whole world is waiting in the minutiae. My protracted period of muscidae monitoring resulted in the following poem.
Watching a Fly on a Slate Table; A Fly Tetralogy.
Watching a Fly on a Slate Table 1; Flytipping
If I tried to clean my wings with my feet,
my face and the floor would quickly meet.
So it’s proven, six legs is so much easier
if cleaning your wings with your feet does pleaseya.
Watching a Fly on a Slate Table 2; I Guess I’m Just a Jealous Fly
With SIX legs all like dainty quavers
you can stand without the wobbles and wavers.
So it seems unfair to us two-legged standers
that a fly who flys stands better than a man does.
Watching a Fly on a Slate Table 3; I Believe I Can Fly
With particular attention I have come to devise
that our friend the fly has remarkable eyes.
So to balance the natural order of things
I’ve ordered a twin-pack of humanoid wings.
Watching a Fly on a Slate Table 4; Flybrid
“If I halved a watermelon
and mounted the two halves to my fore head,
I’d look like a fly.”
Other poems I’ve written: