This post is a follow on to an earlier post called, ‘A Poem: Watching A Fly On A Slate Table: A Fly Tetralogy’. 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, which is a sequel to my earlier poem. My main gripe is that there is no mention of Jeff Goldblum.Further Notes On Watching A Fly On A Slate Table: The Return Of The Fly
The general demeanour of our fly on the table
is one of hatching a plan if a fly is able.
This rapscallion’s habit of sliding the hands
is where much of my insect-y, attention lands.
The calculating way by which our fly slides her paws
is insufficient for arrest on probable cause,
but as a butcher sharpens a blade
or as Monty Burns likes what he’s say’d
or some plotter’s plot got somewhat hotter
these devious limbs parade the spotter.
I’m wary of this blot of bother.
At times of leisure our friend’s elevated
but to prompt a change in the way she’s gaited
make a sudden impromptu action
the lofty stance will drop a fraction
to a poise with more energetic potential
so our fly can fly if it becomes essential.
to take ascent.
With pink and blue
like oil in a puddle
or blowing a bubble.
and shimmering white,
for taking flight.
Poised for dexterity
two sets of knees.
Big knee at the top-
for fly bendy ease.
And a strange point to note
observing the limb
The mirky-ness of light:
reflection is dim.
As if light is absorbed
by the six little things.
Inspecting the thighs:
confusion it brings.
There’s no clear bound’ry
between leg and space
a supernatural, fey lace.
Which begs me then to in-quire
as I stare at this flier:
are the legs simply there
to provide suspension?
Or a supporting portal
to another dimension?
The detail’s is in the minutia of the focus-in’s
Tiny white tips to her otherwise black mocassins
Eyes and Head
The colour and sheen of wet apple pips,
more side-y than front-y and somewhat elipse.
We humans have a fore-heard, brow and lash-y eye-carers:
our heroine has protrude-y, out-front-y, fly-starers.
They take up at least two thirds of her head:
she’ll have big glasses for reading in bed.
On a Doctor, where the glasses would rest
is the part of the fly’s eye that I like the best.
Neath the pips, you could call it the ‘bridge’,
where sleepy eyes meet the nasal-ridge
there’s a secret golden-plated crescent
a treat for those who review with attention
smaller things than accepted convention
And these fuckers oscillate
did you se that or not?
This dude can roll ‘em…
Tea cup rings or rain drips on slates
are the hang-out spots that our pal rates
and when our insect friend has docked
the special vacuum tool’s unlocked.
Go on, take a look much closer
you’ll spot the funnel-y, tube-y nose-r.
It saves the fly from stooping down:
one of the handiest tools around.
Like one of those bug-catchers you buy at Lakeland
to do a pre-sleep, camping, bug-y check-a-round.
It would seem our friend is feeding through it
does food suck up?
He don’t seem to chew it.
This is the jet-pack ruck-sack where the wings pivot.
If I’d not looked so long, I’d be inclined to disbelieve
that the abdomen’s fashioned from a carbon fibre weave
The particular fly observed here’s been painted black and custard.
After it’s initial prime it’s been professionally lustered.
Close appreciation imparts the magic and bizarre:
it looks just like the nose-cone of a formula one car.
I couldn’t advise if this finish is archetypal for a fly:
I’d check the manufacturers brochure before you commit to buy.
At the tip of the nose-cone to the rear of our friend
is an apple pip bum that tapers towards the end.
And at this point the fly I have befriended
does as it should.
My observance is ended.
Thanks for reading