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: