Praying Mantis and Peony, Late May
After the peony scrolls have been read
And the leaves of the peonies are clustered
Armor, I stand for a while to hear what comes
After the words on the scrolls have washed away
After the rain on the cascading layered leaves
Stills I see one poised on one leaf then grasping
It fully stepping with little effort to its underside then
Another smaller within inches and more
On either side praying mantis and praying mantis
So rare in my childhood I saw only one and now
For the second year they are here roaming
These leaves among the scraps of longing
And the sturdy sky boats of green even
On the porch we have seen them last summer
One the size of my hand climbed
On my daughter’s head and would not come down
The cicada they say is so pure it can live on dew
But the praying mantis who catches the cicada
Is emblematic of courage and perseverance
Here at peace after the rain when everything
That can be read has been read and the mind
Is perfectly balanced on the leaves of days
We stand silently knowing something purer will come
We will have to grasp before it changes yet again
Reblogged this on Jessamayann .
We stand silently knowing something purer will come..
One morning I walked out on our rural back porch and found nineteen baby mantises on the screen. Quite the morning! Really fine poem, Jeff.
I think this is quite good. The lack of punctuation and ‘syncopation’ between lines is challenging but effective. I fret over punctuation and line ‘integrity’ in my plodding poems; you’re better off putting them behind you.
Of course that sounds like an invitation; one I’ll be glad to accept. Thank you for the kind words.
I just found the lonely comma after Armor, on second reading. I also detected the Chinese origin of the lines describing the cicada and mantis, and, sure enough, went on to find your Li He and Li Bai poems. Blogging is vindicated tonight.
Sometimes it is just wonderful what you find, I agree. I have discovered many fine minds and fine poets that way.
Sharing this on Facebook.