Pollen nation…

September 15, 2010 § 14 Comments

The butterfly
with her erratic flight
knows nevertheless
exactly where she’s going.

Though her path is serpentine,
her focus is fine, exacting, miraculous, as
she skinnies down the tube of
the beaming morning glory.
What is it?
what beam
tracts these pollen pushers? 
what drives the
need for nectar?
Watching them hover
hones one’s one-ness with the universe.


And then
there’s the bee,
that ballsy little bumble who
buzzes his way into flower homes,
drinking, drinking, and
fuzzing about in the pollen ’til
he’s so darn heavy, so laden,
so drunk that his hover becomes
nearly a stutter ’til
he  begins the flight homeward.

(photos taken in the patio garden)

Book recommend: PILGRIM AT TINKER CREEK by Annie Dillard

This book was a  Pulitzer Prize winner in 1975. My Gran gave it to me, in hardcover. I was in college. Though it appeared to be essays (on nature and writing and stuff), Dillard says it wasn’t, that it was a continuous piece.
I’m not gonna argue with an author like that.
I’m going to listen to lots of lines like this one – ok, yeah, her lines are simple at a glance, but that’s part of her writing intensity.

“The wood duck flew away.I caught only a glimpse of something like a bright torpedo that blasted the leaves where it flew. Back at the house, I ate a bowl of oatmeal; much later in the day came the long slant of light that means good walking. If the day is fine, any walk will do; it all looks good.”

Really, she takes the simple stuff and shows the natural side without getting ethereally out of hand.
Dont’ take my word for it. Give PILGRIM a try if you haven’t and transport yourself to Tinker Creek in Vriginia’s Blue Ridge.
But really, it could be anywhere.
PILGRIM transcends.

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§ 14 Responses to Pollen nation…

  • shoreacres says:

    It’s nearly time to watch for the butterfly migrations – your photos and poetry are the best kind of reminder to look up and see what’s stirring through the air. I just was watching the bees at my Cape Honeysuckle today – not big and fat like yours, but equally happy, from their buzz.

    As for Pilgrim at Tinker Creek – it’s been one of “those” books for me as long as I can remember. I’ve worn out two hardback copies, and now am on my third. And yes, of course I’ve kept all three!

    I think if I were condemned to only one book for the rest of my life, Pilgrim would be a good choice. It’s rich, dense and ethereal all at once – an amazing feat, when you think of it!

    • oh says:

      what is it about that book that requires more than one copy? where is mine? I’ve looked everywhere since writing this blog days ago…time for another one. And I’m NOT waiting ’til a book fair. In fact, heard of a new bookshop tonight at a class and will check it out this weekend!

  • Carrie says:

    I love the color in those shots, but purple and green are no doubt a favorite of mine.

    I’ve not read Pilgrim, but I’ll add it to the list. Have you read Holy the Firm? The only Dillard book I do own.

  • typehype says:

    Great post, beautiful photos! It got me to thinking. I suspect there’s a lesson to be learned here from the directionless butterfly, besotted bumblebee and the vibrancy of a flower that lives just for a single day. Maybe it’s to stop all the planning and fretting and just live in the moment. Or as Eleanor Roosevelt once said on a refrigerator magnet: “Do something everyday that scares you.”

    The point is, your post has inspired me to just DO it. (P.S. Annie Dillard – just love her writing, too.)

  • Arti says:

    We’re having the gloomiest fall weather in years, rainy and cold, it’s 5C now which is 41 degrees F. But thanks for your post, it warms me up… butterfly, bee, and flowers right in your patio garden, all captured in poetry. I’m afraid I’ll have to wait till next July for this kind of scenery. And Annie Dillard, she’s a warm breeze and fresh air any season of the year!

    • oh says:

      Arti- This is the time of year I’d love to be tromping around on the beautiful mts of your country and smelling those magnificent fir trees.
      But I do not let go easily of summer – wish I could go barefoot to work tomorrow, just to cling to the “warm” a bit more!

  • jeanie says:

    The poem is beautiful. The photos are dazzling!

  • Terri B. says:

    Lovely poetry and photos. I feel like that butterfly … I take an erratic path but know where I’m going.

    • oh says:

      Hi, Terri! oh, how true about the path, sometimes! Thanks for stopping by – must drop by and see what you’re reading! (just home from the library with 10 books).

  • shoreacres says:

    But have you ever seen butterflies MIGRATE? Those fluttery little bits of aimlessness are all purpose, I tell you.

    I’ve seen migrations that lasted three days – a steady column of fluttering yellow all lined up and going the same way as fast as they can. I guess they get to stop and flutter aimlessly when they get where they’re supposed to be!

    • oh says:

      Oh, Linda – I have not seen such a thing! I can only imagine. They are made of far stronger stuff than appearances. Sounds lovely. (and just looked at some pictures online of such events!) You always inspire a closer look into things – thanks!

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