Sunday, March 3, 2013

we all gather at the river

photo by Florian

Removing the last plate from the cupboard,
to dress the table for dinner, i find a fly---

or what's left, a dry carcass on its back,
feet reaching heavenward humbly

what pulled him behind a door
too heavy for him to flee?

curiosity?
adventuresome spirit?
desperation?
hunger?

how long did it take,
drawing ever weaker?

how long has he waited
to be found?

taking the empty shell by the wing,
i toss it in the trash

he needs
it no more

Through the weave of screen
on the other side of the window glass
buds hang like earrings
on tree limbs

& the first purple flowers
of the Spring
raise their heads
from the grass

so some
can call them
a weed.

for my friend Geraldine. the weave of all life in the river.

81 comments:

Pat Hatt said...

And I gather first
With my burst

Pat Hatt said...

A weed in need
Is a weed indeed
Hmm not sure that works
But showing spring perks
Sure works for me
Maybe the fly was played to death by the kitty
Been known to do that here
But sometimes they eat it I fear
Good protein I suppose
Am I still gathering and filling rows?

Pat Hatt said...

Yep, one, two, three
Taking up all this space am I greedy?

Pat Hatt said...

Silence means yes?
Come now with four you can confess

JANU said...

Every thing big or small has a purpose to serve in this Universe. A profound thought here :-)

DJan said...

What a fine little poem this one is, Brian. I like to imagine what brought about these little scenes, too. One of my favorites here. :-)

izzy said...

Poor fly- however much clarity you achieve- I would like to know Please:
Is it true- you have BUDS already ???! Oh my I could come south if that is true! No even a smidge of sun at the moment- haven't for a while... Thanks.

Brian Miller said...

we do have buds...saw them last weekend while walking in the yard....

which is scary because we are supposed to get clobbered with 18 inches of snow on tuesday if the jet stream turns...

Heaven said...

I like the title, in life and death, water or the river binds us.

I like how you used a fly to depict the theme of death, just like us someday. Also like buds hang like earrings on tree limbs ~ No sign of weeds here yet ~

Happy Sunday ~

Daniel said...

Loved the reflection here. Death compared to new life. Sweet.

alan1704 said...

Even bugs deserve a thought here and then, one day we all fly away. Great poem

Vesper said...

This one breaks my heart... But I guess this is what we have, life and death woven together...

alan1704 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve E said...

...reading this, I could "SEE" Brian putting our place settings, finding a fly, and etcetera. Also "see him observing (poetically) through his windows, upper deck screens, and out, into his huge back yard.

The "miracle" of Brian is his acute awareness of EVERYTHING...ALL the time. He's easy to converse with, but you KNOW (are aware) he is constantly "brain-blogging"...

What great topic is "Reality. Now."
And what Brian writes is what he sees, thinks, and "feels"...NOW!

Brian you are a diamond among the gems of these pages.

Gail said...

"raise their heads from the grass so some can all them a weed."

Fantastic...ever word.

Susan said...

Ah Virginia! When I lived in Williamsburg I enjoyed the earliest and longest springs anyone could adore. Buds, flies--I prefer them live to dead--fevers, marshy grass. I leave them all to gather by the river as they will. No matter how much I try I cannot care for them all. Sigh. But I care for every inch of your poem, every word, consciousness expanded, to see there but for the grace of God go I ... SO many people are behind doors they cannot open without help.

Valerie said...

I loved this, Brian (strangely appropriate) ... it reminded me of a dead spider I found behind a cereal box. It conjured up a number of scenarios, but I am no poet so I couldn't express them in words.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

You know why I love visiting here? You find beauty in absolutely everything. I just think that's so awesome. I love how you gave a rememberance to the fly - humanizing it. You're a great soul my friend.

ayala said...

Poor guy :) I like the way you think that he was curious... and buds that hang like earrings , a nice touch. :) happy Sunday :)

Leovi said...

Reading this poem has made me think about the work and life of great people that has never been used by the rest of humanity. Those great unknown that his wealth and inheritance went with them.

Claudia said...

oh heck..i wished that fly had died rather in a brave fight with a lion than alone in a kitchen cupboard...what a lonely and slow death...love the switch to new life in contrast...the buds like earrings..great image and oh i just wanna kiss all the weeds in the world on a lovely spring day like this...smiles

Claudia said...

haha...steve e. already suspects a fly conspiracy ya know...smiles

manicddaily said...

Super charming, Brian. The end terrific. k.

Mark said...

I find myself thinking about things like how people find themselves where they do. Especially if it was how a fly found it's way behind a closed door.

christopher said...

Making it through winter is the hardest...hopefully not many more shells will land in the trash.

tony said...

We All Have A Value:We All Have A Purpose.

thecourseofourseasons.com said...

such a sad solemn poem - an ode to the death of a fly - then the new life of spring - the change of seasons from death to life - loved the earring buds too! K

Laurie Kolp said...

Such is the cycle of life... but there is always the joy of spring, new life. I really like this, Brian... especially:

buds hang like earrings
on tree limbs

& the first purple flowers
of the Spring
raise their heads

Old Ollie said...

poems of life and death - and weeds - keep 'em coming Brian!

wovendreamsprompts said...

this is just wonderful Brian. how you can weave a tale.

Mr. Cheddar was having a fly feast yesterday as the first of the season bugs start to arrive through sceen openings LOL, he has no sympathy for these critters.

Thanks for joining in at Woven Dreams! :<)

Teri Casper said...

Wonderful burial for your fly.
"Buds like earrings" gorgeous comparison.

kaykuala said...

A 'weed' to add as manure to all the weeds. Something good from something not wanted. Nicely Brian!

Hank

Eva Gallant said...

No buds here! But there is a bug in between the window and the screen in my hallway. I hope it's dead; it's an ugly creature. I don't dare open the window in case it's not!

Cloudia said...

How often we waste in barren cupboards when Spring is so close. Hang in there everybody!
Aloha

adeeyoyo said...

Maybe someone sprayed the cupboard with a long-acting poison for insects - or, maybe it was just old age. What exactly is a weed? A flower that grows easily in the wild?

Autumn is in the early morning air here, Brian.

Alice Audrey said...

I am so totally not in the mood to empathize with a fly. And it's not even the time of year when the buggers turn up everywhere. Must be me.

anthonynorth said...

Our place. life and death. Great write.

Hilary said...

Some can call them a weed just as some will call insects pests. They all have their purpose. Another fine poetic thought, Brian.

Paula Wooters said...

I'm looking forward to opening things up and removing those carcasses from between the window and screen. Hopefully, it won't be long now.

Mary said...

Ha, Brian, I should not laugh...but only you (I think) would find poetry in a dead fly carcass & wonder how the previously living fly decided to settle there. Gosh, just for a moment you made me feel sympathy for the fly. Mind you, the moment passed quickly!

Oh, I can hardly wait for those little purple flowers to appear. (Weeds or not.) A lot of snow will have to melt first.

Nice slice of life here, Brian!

Katherine Krige said...

Some of those weeds are edible too, so I wouldn't count them out at all. As for your other find, who knows what another's mind holds?

Betsy Brock said...

here's an odd fact for you...flies only live 24 hours! How long they lay dead in your cupboard is a mystery. lol....

blooms in your yard? no way!!!

hedgewitch said...

This is one of your best, bri...truly luminous, flawless, whatever superlative you want to tack on it. Remember last year when I was writing about the crickets? You did so much more with this metaphor--just beautiful, and you know my gardener's heart is loving the ending especially.

Victoria said...

Just love this one, Brian. How many people can create empathy for a dead fly, after all? And the final few lines! It got to me on a visceral level.

Mike said...

A fly in my kitchen brings about panic lol

Secret Agent Woman said...

I'm going to guess pure dumb (bad) luck for the fly.

Truedessa said...

We all gather at the river..this is true..well buds of spring sounds nice to me..snow here..

darkangelwrites said...

"buds hang like earrings
on tree limbs" love that!

TALON said...

This makes me long for Spring...and, dare I say, even a fly sighting (the dead variety is okay with me, too). :)

seasideauthor said...

Well done and your writing
reads with ease.
Purple weeds indeed.
I wish it was spring or winter.
Dear Earth,
Just pick one
or the other. Please.

Mark Zellner said...

These are the most profound thoughts I have ever read about a dead fly. You go to great lengths to explore the motivation of its demise. :) Kudos for creativity, friend.

Myrna R. said...

We do all gather at the river. Must admit I never gave too much tought to the life cycle of a fly and compared it to me and the rest of nature. Now I have because your poem made me think. Made me appreciate the buds that are springing and now I even appreciate the fly. Don't get me wrong, don't want them around me much. But must accept they're part of this world.

Lydia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lydia said...

My kind of topic, Brian. I have had friendships with two of those tiny flies that seem to come inside right around the end of summer. Perhaps they all are, and I have not paid attention, but these two were charming, well-mannered little things that seemed to want/need our company. I experimented to see how far I could take the relationship. I put brown sugar on a small plate and they dined happily. One slept clinging to the bedroom ceiling above the bed and would rally for the day when we got up. This went on for weeks, truly amazing me. Unfortunately, one morning I stayed in bed to stretch and the little fly came down to the bedspread (to say good-morning?) and the cat who had pretended to be asleep near my feet sprung into action. The little fly was no more. The other exited out the front door with me that same week.
Anyway, your poem captured for me the simple truth that we really do not know what they really feel. Same thing goes with the flowers, I suppose.

Dave King said...

Powerful stuff. It puts me in mind of Damien Hirst's installation on the birth, life and death of flies. They're all there, the big themes of life in the most trivial of incidents.

John DeBellis said...

Those flies sure come and go, sometimes they won't buzz off.

Lorraine said...

well they're irritating, but I guess they have a right to live, just not in my house, stop it you're making me hurt for a fly, I hurt for a spider even, but flies arrrghhhgh they won't stop buzzing, spiders are quiet, I like spiders :)

Elsie Amata said...

Look at the cat hogging up half the page!! Figures. ha ha ha

I have to admit, this is the first time I ever took pity upon a dead housefly. I've had pity live housefly but never a dead one. Thanks, thanks a lot. Smiles.

sage said...

Empathy for a fly... Nice writing!

the walking man said...

Nope the fly didn't need wings anymore in that state of being, you gave the carcass a more honorable funeral than any Corporate Food Processor in America would have.

Tina said...

LOVE these two stanzas:

& the first purple flowers
of the Spring
raise their heads
from the grass

so some
can call them
a weed.

I'm kinda a free spirited gardener, anyone is welcome to join the party. This is why I have morning glory (a cousin of the dreaded bind weed which I spend most of the summer get rid of, but only because it chokes my perennials) everywhere, and why after 12 years of sunflowers, meticulously sown and labeled the first year, now I get a blanket of random ones, and weeding them out is hard because you don't know what they're going to be like until the bloom...

Nice piece, Brian.


Tina @ Life is Good
Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
@TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

The Empress said...

I remember the WISEST thing a gardener ever told me< "Anything's a weed if you don't want it there." And with that, I let the creeping charlie have at the back part of my lawn, because the little purple heads make me smile.

People, don't tell me what's a weed, just like you don't tell a child who brings you a fistful of dandelions that he's handing you weeds. They're beautiful to the giver, and the getter.

Always, thank you B, for the pause in my day.

Gloria said...

Nice how you talk about death, I always think in it.
Im happy you feel better Brian, have a nice week with T and the boys!

ladyfi said...

The circle of life! And how lovely to have spring flowers already.

Kelvin S.M. said...

...ye know i love tiny creatures... the tiny feet... the tiny voices of nature... all these & that... them & him open up a new understanding of the world... larger than the life i used to live with... and i wonder what it feels like for 'em to see life thru their eyes six feet below... or how they ever wonder how it feels like for us to see life thru our eyes six feet tall... life could be like that of a fly... tiny & secret... and the world never bothers when it takes in different forms & shapes... we, the fly, the tiny ones --- must learn to adapt into the vastness of the world we create or be lost & remain unfound... your piece touches in many levels Brian... i like it... smiles...

Kelvin S.M. said...

...ye know i love tiny creatures... the tiny feet... the tiny voices of nature... all these & that... them & him open up a new understanding of the world... larger than the life i used to live with... and i wonder what it feels like for 'em to see life thru their eyes six feet below... or how they ever wonder how it feels like for us to see life thru our eyes six feet tall... life could be like that of a fly... tiny & secret... and the world never bothers when it takes in different forms & shapes... we, the fly, the tiny ones --- must learn to adapt into the vastness of the world we create or be lost & remain unfound... your piece touches in many levels Brian... i like it... smiles...

Tara Miller said...

Death and life - such is the circle of life. Poor fly...if only he had been able to escape the cupboard he would be flying amongst the new buds.
I really enjoy the birth of spring you painted for us.

Jenny Woolf said...

coming and going, ebb and flow. that is what it is all about.

flaubert said...

Beautifully descriptive, Brian. I love ending about the weeds. As for the poor fly, well what can I say. I am not fond of bugs.

Pamela

William Manson said...

mmm great poem mate, glad to see your still writing the best stuff on the internet ;)

Friko said...

Brilliant. The everyday again; the everyday turned into something worth noting.

FrankandMary said...

A peek behind the door~ dead fly discovered. Bummer. You sure it wasn't a lethal gaze on your part that did it? At least it wasn't a Malaria mosquito.

Annmarie Pipa said...

I keep a fly swatter on top of the fridge

RMP said...

so many interesting questions you ponder upon finding this little guy and here I am with the heebiejeebies wondering if you washed the plate before eating off of it.

Tumblewords: said...

This is expansive - fits a life!

Goofball said...

aaah I've so often wondered how long it takes for a fly to die without food trapped in a house (and if they truly can't find food if they are simply locked up in a house, not a cupboard). Hmm there must be an answer somewhere on the internet

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

Hi! Brian...
Thanks, for sharing the photo by Florian and I also took a peek after following the link to Geraldine's place.

Once again, the photo "truly" complimented your poetic words...I like the fact, that you questioned why the fly died:
"curiosity?
adventuresome spirit?
desperation?
hunger?
how long did it take,
drawing ever weaker?
how long has he waited
to be found?"

[Instead Of, just disposing the dead fly in the garbage bin...As Spring is in the air?]

Thanks, for sharing!
deedee :)

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

...One more thing I see that Pat Hatt, wasn't only commenter No#1,No#2,and No#3 at your door, but also No#4...lol

missing moments said...

Buds hang like earrings ... love it!

poeticlicensee said...

Flies & weeds also gather at the river. Tee!Hee! ...

Sue said...

Yep, we all do.
Sooner or later...

=)