Catching Dragonflies

Me and my childhood mates

In the sun filled days

We caught dragonflies in fields

Where the grass grew to our chins

and boasted the most colourful–  

broad winged dragonflies

which we tied on string leashes

to watch them fly in bondage

we were the dragon lords

who ruled those fields

and there marked our territories

claimed every passing car on the dirt road

and played hide and seek

in the overgrown weeds and thickets


I saw a former playmate today

from a distance in the city streets

in the finest array of garments

a car sleeker than those we claimed

and a lovely companion in hand

looking like the true dragon lord

but there are no dragonflies in this city

and no tall weeds and thickets for hiding

since misery has me on a leash

I turned on the next dingy back alley

to hide my torn shoes and faded coat

and in that blind haste I tripped on a beggar’s bowl

Valley of Dry Bones

by and by the floods shall come

and wash away these mounds

revealing dry white bones

winds turning them to flute

singing songs of redemption 

and gaining flesh to life

from the valley of death’s shadow

to the rose of Sharon

 and lily of the valley

meanwhile time drags on

the epitaphs fade out

no trumpet’s call  

a deer grazes

on the grass above my head

Land Of My Birth

Standing at the highest point

of the land of my birth

towering over tiny villages

clean air in my lungs

with a coat of blue sky

and ivy crawling at my feet

I stretch out my arms

and birds fly beneath my wings

standing like some Cicero

ready for an address

as the trees settle to listen

for a moment I am the sun king

 my kingdom stretching out

to as far as I can see.


Illustration Picture: Yours truly on the summit of Asego hill

Bird Scarers

As when the air is yellow

filled with the light of peering sun after rain

 and everything looks light and gay

with the sheen of droplets on green

reflecting the yellow light

and with every blink I thought

I was blind but now I see

the joy of vision ever renewed.

We got out of our makeshift shades

made of sticks and arrow root leaves

back to our guarding task

the rice field against thieving birds

a stretch of golden field

bent stalks and ears bursting heavy with grain.

Thinking the birds were long gone

to seek some shelter from the storm

and now their wings too damp to fly

we abandoned our task

and went off playing in the mud

then out of nowhere

a flock of weaver birds

descended upon the ripe rice field

like a horde of Mongols

as we slid in the mud slope – naked.