And We Are Here

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Before the moon rose
We went out under the oaks where it was darkest
And the lightning bug larvae were shining on the ground around us
Like that scene in Avatar when Sully starts to connect

Soon it will be safe to lay out on the lookout
And watch the stars without mosquitoes
And the face flies will fall to the cold,
The grasses sweeten with the change in the weather
And the cows will bed down happy
Under the beech limbs that reach out over the pasture from the woods

The tops of maples turning
The black gum set to start
Its run to burning red

The crabs robbed by winged marauders
And a carpet of crawling crickets
After sweet persimmons

And the ants, my co-conspirators,
Point out the ripest of figs
And are blown off with a puff of wind passed the lips

Among these things, certain seeds do not germinate
We don’t stop to try to pin down truth
Nor bother to wonder how stories of victimization might play out
Only here when we are

9-21-16

“What better blessing than to move without hurry under trees?”
– Naomi Shihab Nye

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10 thoughts on “And We Are Here”

  1. chris, this is a good poem

    these lines are of the finest:

    Among these things, certain seeds do not germinate
    We don’t stop to try to pin down truth
    Nor bother to wonder how stories of victimization might play out
    Only here when we are

    i can not help but place this poem in the context of the bitter poems of the last months

  2. I enjoy reading about the details you notice. It’s inspiring to me. Your ant co-conspirators. Great quote at the end. I wish less people would give me funny looks when I talk like that.

  3. Beautiful photos. I loved the part about ants and fruit.
    We were at kids science museum on the border of VT and NH today (check it out if you guys are ever this way), and they have a great big leaf-cutter ant colony living on fungus, they are so interesting!
    I have a question on lightening bug larvae, since I had never seen them – when and where do you find them? Is now the season to watch for them? Somehow we missed June bugs in Lithuania, there were none, kids were prepped with jars and all as usual, but no lighting bugs there, just May bugs.

    1. I don’t know much about them. We see them most of summer occasionally but right now at the begining of autumn there are loads. I think there are multiple species. I wish I knew more. They are quite pretty even with a flashlight on them, sort of speckled, elongated pill bugs. 🙂

      1. “tripping
        on the wrinkles of my hand…
        firefly”

        By Kobayashi Issa who wrote so many Haikus on snails, mosquitos, ants, fireflies… in similar grace as yours.

  4. The black gum set to start
    Its run to burning red

    Yesterday I read Kristina’s “September sumac/gone fast ablaze”

    It’s good that poets share their gifts with us.

    It’s a beautiful season. It gets me every year. I gape foolishly, maybe sigh and think something profound like “The leaves are pretty.”

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