The Block Island Times


By Lisa Starr | Oct 19, 2011
Poet Laureate Lisa Starr

My Inner Voice Speaks to Me in Mid-October


“Listen, dear one,” it whispers.

“You only think you have

forgotten the impossible.


Go now, to that marsh beyond

Fresh Pond and consider how the red

burgeons into crimson.


Go see how it's been preparing

forever for today. Notice the stirring,

silent beauty of bog;


watch how summer lingers at the door.

Get there as the heron makes its lacy landing

and consider, then, the possibility


that for ten thousand years, that sleek,

white whisper of bird has been waiting for you

to arrive — so it could land just like that,


just then.”



Wrestling the Dragon


Earlier today I wrestled with a dragonfly

for what felt like hours, and God —

it was tough going; I almost lost

him a couple of times.

Of course he'd gotten caught up

in Mrs. Way-Too-Busy's web,

as if the drying carcasses

of five black flies and two white moths

weren't enough, she'd plucked

his sleek, pulsing machinery from the air,

the iridescent scales, miniscule

himself a finely-tuned miracle.


He was very much alive when I snatched

him back from the silk slaughterhouse

although you-know-who had nearly completed

the delicate sewing together of his wings —

not right to left but upper to lower —

causing him, upon trying to take flight,

to fall over promptly in his back.

You never saw such a thing

as I did this morning —

the tawny, fierce fighter — mythological

biplane falling flat on his back

like a Vaudeville act, over and over again.


Eventually he tired and collapsed,

breathless as any dragonfly ever was,

and in his exhaustion, accepted my help,

though it almost killed him. The web

was nearly as invisible as it was intricate —

too delicate for tweezers so I got the thinnest pin

I could find, and gently, oh praise Jesus,

somehow managed to cut the web, and only

the web, in all the right places, and eventually

freed not just one, but both sets of wings,

and I don't know if you've ever seen

a dragonfly cock his head before,

but I swear to you he did — in complete

surprise — those jet black busy eyes

looked at his wings, then at me,

then like that, he was gone, and for a second

I almost didn't believe it had happened

except for the straight pin in my left hand,

laced with gossamer.

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