The Earth Within

Sometimes, you can see things only when you sit still for a while.

This afternoon, after talking on the phone with my sister, who is in the hospital ICU for a couple of days, I collected the harvest

harvest: tomatoes, cucumbers, scallions, tiny carrots, beans, 10 Sept 2014
harvest: tomatoes, cucumbers, scallions, tiny carrots, beans, 10 Sept 2014

and then I sat still among the birds flitting to and fro,

phoebe on fence, 10 Sept 2014
phoebe on fence, 10 Sept 2014

watching the one monarch at the Joe Pye weed,

monarchbutterflyonjoepyeweedwingsopen10Sept2014

hearing the comforting rumble of bees just behind me on and in the comfrey and mint blooms,

yellow jacket and bee on mint, 10 Sept 2014
yellow jacket and bee on mint, 10 Sept 2014

and suddenly, this little red dragonfly landed with a bee or bee mimic (fly) prey on the patio right in front of me:

dragonflywithpreyA10Sept2014

There was a bit of an acrobatic struggle to assert dominance and the lethal immobilizing of the prey with its jaws:

dragonflywithpreyB10Sept2014

And then the eating began, and went on … I ate cerignola olives, spitting out pits, as I watched …

dragonflywithpreyC10Sept2014

dragonflywithpreyD10Sept2014

dragonflywithpreyE10Sept2014

It wasn’t pretty, in a sense, and it was probably downright awful for the prey, but somehow watching this scene put human life in perspective for me, once again.

 

* * * * * * *

So Much of the World

by Gregory Djanikian

So much of the world exists
without us
*
the mountain in its own steepness
*
the deer sliding
into the trees becoming
a darkness
in the woods’ darkness.
*
So much of an open field
lies somewhere between the grass
and the dragonfly’s drive and thrum
*
the seed and seedling,
the earth within.
*
But so much of it lies in someone
standing alone at the edge of a field
with a life apart
*
feeling for a moment
the plover’s cry
on the tongue
*
the curve and plumb
of the apple bough
in limb and bone.
*
So much of it between
one thing and another,
*
days of invitation,
then of release and return.

(poem from The Writers Almanac)

 

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