Wednesday, October 12, 2005


DRAGONFLY DESIRE


Early this morning I headed down the road to near where the wild pigs have their doorway in the new bamboo, left the sunlight and plunged into the spiky shadows to cut a bunch of tall stalks for arching over the new spinach and covering with netting to keep crows off the sprouts and deer off the full leaves.

I had cut about a dozen stalks and was carrying them on my shoulder in a long clacking bundle when a red dragonfly, redness dimmed to near rust now that he was in the waning portion of his courting days, began hovering along the bamboo I was carrying. Male red dragonflies live to position themselves prominently (especially atop bamboo, around here) so as to best display their extremely seductive redness to best advantage among the flitting dragonfly ladies, and here was the only bamboo in the road, so he had elected to land and pose upon it.

Trouble was, for the first time in his entire summer life, the very spot he sought to claim was not swaying in the wind, as he was used to. Though it was bamboo, it was horizontal and moving steadily along in one direction. These new phenomena in his universe, however, gave no pause to his desire. He had his eye on that courting spot, and would not give it up.

Thus it was that I walked up the long road toward the house with a big red dragonfly beside me, he floating along in a fixed place, aiming the while at the point of his desire, that stayed just out of reach despite his obedience to history.

As to my own desires, I can’t count the times in my life I’ve done exactly the same thing, without bamboo.

3 comments:

Ronni Bennett said...

Haven't we all - even women...

Robert Brady said...

And when you live long enough to realize that age is your least important aspect, that life itself is desire...

samcandide said...

Here's my red dragonfly story: I was seated at a table in a cafe eating a bagel and drinking a coffee (probably) and reading a newspaper when out of nowhere (or in from somewhere) a huge red dragonfly, dazzlingly orange-red, even and especially the wings, landed on my forearm sleeve. And wouldn't leave. I believed that transport was called for, and paid up and left and walked in wilting midsummer Central Valley sun for three full city blocks holding my laden arm a little gingerly against my midtorso, until I reached the bridge over Chico Creek, and the water running under and swaying foliage around. I moved my arm out over the water then and after a moment the dragonfly flew downward and away. So I have felt like an omnibus for insects. Omnibus-ly refreshing.