Time Traveling

I’m participating in Laura Shovan‘s February poetry challenge again this month, and am really enjoying the daily challenge of writing to a prompt, without having any expectations other than to get some words on the screen. The theme for the month is time–and since time has felt like a slog for some of the past couple of years, it’s been an interesting one to ponder. One of my favorite prompts to date was an amazing collage that Linda Mitchell shared, which lifted me out of the winter doldrums and set me down in the warmth of summer.

My eyes were drawn to that wide-eyed fish, the knowing eye, the photographer, and the dancers. The dancers soon transformed into a pair of dragonflies that wheel and fly by our dock. I tried to connect it all as a little lakeside food-chain drama. What does that have to do with time? I have no idea, but I had fun writing it so I’m sharing it here.

Lakeside Collage

With watchful eye
and camera lens
I wait for drama.

amazing collage by Linda Mitchell

A pair of dragonflies dance,
his grip tight,
her tail tap, tap, tapping,
slipping eggs beneath the pond’s surface,
until an intruder tries to tango,
disrupting the pas de deux.

Fish rise to the surface,
drawn to a meal
of fresh eggs
and sparring dragonflies–
a ripple, a splash
and then calm returns.

Stalking through reeds,
heron pauses
sets her spear
a beakful of struggling fish.

Sun spills its last light
as Saturn rises in the east.
I cap my lens
and head for home.
–Buffy Silverman

Looking for more poetry? Head over to Teacher Dance, where Linda Baie has this week’s roundup.

9 thoughts on “Time Traveling

  1. I loved this prompt for the very reason that all the different images could lead you on a different path. I love reading about the dragonflies dancing on the pond. So many wonderful images in this poem. Thanks for sharing. I don’t always see all the poems on FB.

  2. This is beautiful – your poem has such a strong sense of place and really captures the drama in the natural world that we so often fail to see because our eyes aren’t open to it.

  3. I love every detail of this. One that sticks with me is the heron setting her spear. But I think my favorite one is you at the end capping your lens. Your presence there at the beginning and the end is so great — what brings together all the disparate creatures is that you noticed them all! <3

  4. Buffy, Your Lakeside Collage mirrors so much of what I see and hear when hiking in the Sierras. I even wrote a PB about it, including the dance of dragonflies, the teasing of nymphs rising from the muddy bottom and of course the “plup-plup” of the successful trout! What a joy to read yours! Thank you!

  5. Like the sense of immediacy and suspense in your food chain drama, Buffy. Like the dance metaphor and sensory detail too! “Sun spills its last light” is just lovely. 🙂

  6. I loved your poem before, too, Buffy, and that you created a story for us from something I had no knowledge of. This “dance” becomes real and I love your ending “Sun spills its last light/as Saturn rises in the east. Being out, watching the events of a world we don’t always know is a wonderful thing.

  7. Such romance, such competition, and violence in the land of summer love. What’s so neat is that we really get a glimpse behind the camera of what fascinates the photographer…what the photographer is looking for and sees. This poem is such a window into that world. Beautiful, Buffy!

  8. Buffy, it is wonderful to read your poem for the second time. With ease you beautifully introduced the dance segment of the collage, The ending brings me right back to the beginning line. The photographer always captures the best of nature. Linda’s collage is the best she created.

  9. Hi Buffy, this is so lovely. I feel the calm quiet waiting and the strike! And yes, an amazing collage by Linda!

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