Ph: Farm: Why Fireflies Dance - Poem by Brian Johnston
Pausing on a late trip to South Dakota
I pulled off of the highway
Somewhere in Kansas
And shut off the lights
Reflecting that it might be good
To clear the windshield of bug carcasses
That were only being smeared
Into a thin, barely transparent paste
By my windshield wipers at this stage.
As my eyes became used to the moonlit hollow
Where my vehicle purred quietly
I began to realize something was strange.
There were stars dancing that night
Whose light had never been
Gathered by a telescope,
A job, better left perhaps,
To a wide-eyed child with a ‘Ball Jar' & lid,
Than to a scientist living behind thick lenses.
Opening the car door, revelation struck,
Though alone in the dark, God was with me.
The valley in which I'd parked
Was teeming with more fireflies
Than I had ever seen
In the entirety of my uneventful life.
Even in the stupor of mechanical driving
I realized that by chance I had discovered
What might just be the ‘eighth wonder of the world.'
The air was full of ecstasy
And my impoverished heart simply enchanted.
The fireflies in their mating frenzy
Made the full moon seem
The victim of an incredible meteor shower,
Flashes of light exploding on lunar surface
As each projectile ended its journey,
This illusion blurred only slightly
By less ambitious brothers and sisters
Whose ardor blotted out the milky way
Stretching horizon to horizon
As they flashed the opposite sex.
Still, all in all, it was quite a show.
These moon striking invertebrates,
Faux-astronauts though they were,
(Unlike us, leaving no debris behind to litter)
Giving up their tiny ghosts over and over,
Adding a buggy visual pun to the night
Clearly suggesting, that in romance at least,
All of us experience multiple crash landings.
Poet's Notes about The Poem
This poem is dedicated to my honorary God-Daughter (who is perhaps the 9th wonder of the world in my life right now) , the upcoming poet Neethu Panicker right here on Poem Hunter, and my friends Lora Colon, Ed Nigma, and Tapan Pradhan for their much valued support and comments. A psychic once told me that I had been St. Valentine in a previous lifetime. Don't suppose she will like this poem much! But just in case I was, I wish all my PH family a great Valentines day.
And also a note of appreciation to the group Sixpence None The Richer and their song 'Kiss Me' which contains the line 'Strike up the band and make the fireflies dance until the moon is sparkling.' This line and my personal experience are both at the heart of this poem.
Comments about Ph: Farm: Why Fireflies Dance by Brian Johnston
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