One of my favorite flying insects is out in droves these days, so I thought I would post this little poem about them. The only problem is, I wrote two different versions and can’t decide which I like better. “Take #1” has a relaxed, conversational meter and a straightforward “aabb” rhyme scheme. The second version, “Rhyme Royal,” fits a prescribed pattern: iambic pentameter (10 syllables/line), with seven lines/stanza and a rhyme scheme of “ababbcc.”
Rhyme Royal was certainly more challenging to put together and it sounds more polished, but is it a bit… stuffy? I welcome your comments and votes as to which should be the “official” version. (Hint: if a word looks odd to you, it is probably a sewing/fabric term.)
Appliqué (Take #1)
by Janice C. Johnson
Weaving among the diamonds on a morning tailor-made
for flying and for plying the tulles of his trade;
He’s been at work since early dawn and now it’s nearly ten,
his wings almost illusion as he flashes past again.
He’s busy: darns up lacy foliage, clips off a stray fly
that had escaped the spinner’s web. And then with practiced eye
surveys the French-knot zinnias, cross-stitched ferns among the stones,
patrols the velvet roses, wisely leaves a wasp alone.
I know he’s not the artist of this garden that I love
but I depend on friends like him to keep it clear of bugs.
Does he even see the picture he helps me to maintain,
or is he just a bright green, animated appliqué?
or. . .
Appliqué (Rhyme Royal)
by Janice C. Johnson
He weaves among the diamonds on the ferns
while I sit in the morning glory’s shade.
With rapid swoops and hovering in turns
he flashes by; the morning’s tailor-made
for flying, plying the tulles of his trade.
It’s ten, and he’s been working since sunrise,
his wings are like illusion as he flies.
He darns up lacy foliage, then his eye
surveys the French-knot zinnias thickly sewn;
patrols the myrtle, clipping off a fly
that had escaped the spinner’s web. He drones
around the roses, leaves a wasp alone.
But does he see his needlework today,
or is he just a bright green appliqué?
(The poem is about a “Green Darner” dragonfly, but I did not get a picture of him. This here’s his little cousin, “Blue Dasher.”)
Thanks for reading!
PS: My “Company Girls” friends may also want to check out the previous post.