Support Your Local Insect

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!
Jan
PS: My “Company Girls” friends may also want to check out the previous post.

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6 Responses to Support Your Local Insect

  1. diane says:

    Rhyme Royal is truly a work of art! But I actually like Take #1 better, primarily because it suits the subject better. Dragonflies flitter about, and the less formal, conversational tone of the aabb rhyme scheme is a better fit.

    Then again, what do I know – everytime I think of dragonflies I think of Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes and the “darning needle, dragon fly” chant of the ballon witch as she sews the boys’ eyes and mouths shut with spiders’ silk.

    Like

  2. Star says:

    Cute! I like #1, but they are both very good! Have a great weekend!

    Like

  3. Ashley says:

    Beautiful poetry! I have never been very good at poetry… I’m much better with prose. Enjoy the weekend – I hope you have a number of opportunities to catch glimpses of your green darner dragon fly!

    Like

  4. Rachel Anne says:

    Jan – I LOVE that you blog!!!! Now I know more about you that I never knew before…..such as the fact that you are a talented writer. On the poems, I think I liked #2 better for some reason – but both are joyous to read. Just lovely!

    Like

  5. Jan says:

    Thanks for the comments, Company Girls! Diane, I’d better not read the Bradbury story or I am sure to creep myself out.

    Like

  6. Melinda M says:

    I like both of them (not very helpful, huh?)

    Like

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