Songs of Unreason

I subscribe to a literary arts website which sends out a weekly newsletter. The post, entitled The Sunday Poem, contains a review of a recently published collection by a renowned poet. Always informative, there are weeks when its contents, especially its poems, really resonate with me. This week was such a week and I was inspired to share my particular favourite with you. Perhaps because I have recently relocated to the country? Perhaps because I am currently living in an unfamiliar country surrounded by an unfamiliar landscape? Perhaps because, summer, my house is frequently visited by bugs, many of which suffer a similar fate? Perhaps because I also feel a little sad for them and because my partner insists on rescuing all flying sundry, whether deceased or living, and relocating them to the comfort of the garden? Or perhaps simply because it is a cold and cloudy day and I am looking inward? Whichever happy circumstance it is, without further a due I present to you the poem “Dan’s Bugs” by American-born poet Jim Harrison.

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Dan’s Bugs ~ Jim Harrison

I felt a little bad about the nasty earwig
that drowned in my nighttime glass of water,
lying prone at the bottom like a shipwrecked mariner.
There was guilt about the moth who died
when she showered with me, possibly a female.
They communicate through wing vibrations.
I was careful when sticking a letter
in our rural mailbox, waiting for a fly to escape,
not wanting her to be trapped there in the darkness.
Out here in the country many insects invade our lives
and many die in my nightcap, floating and deranged.
On the way to town to buy wine and a chicken
I stopped from 70 mph to pick up
a wounded dragonfly fluttering on the yellow line.
I’ve read that some insects live only for minutes,
as we do in our implacable geologic time.

For those of you who are interested, here is a direct link to the article where this poem was discovered, as well as the website that I was alluding to. I thoroughly recommend subscribing, or at the very least checking it out.

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