On the stairs from my room,
A wide window overlooks the village,
And beyond that the sea.
Passing on this warm day of radiant light
I see a swarm of flies – trapped.

For hours my thoughts have run,
They have stooped and pressed,
Broken open, images of liberation.
And the flies want it.
They press for release.
They seek it and ceaselessly,
Till life ebbs from them,
Thrust against the glass.

I open the sliding window.
Deep is the space of escape.
But still thrusting
The flies cannot find it.
I cannot help them,
Trapped between the sashes,
And pass on –
To return and see
That every one has found
By the intense rejection
Of their plight.

I begin to pass
And see a butterfly
In the lowest corner
Still – as in death.
Its wings tattered
By its own earnest
Yet fruitless quest.

I pick it carefully
And place it
Stood upon the very brink
Of that great open void
Toward the sky.
Motionless still
I nudge it toward the space,
Either to fall lifeless
Or to have what life is in it
Called upon fresh.

It falls.
Like a leaf dropping
In the air.
And then it flies
Lifting me with it
On tattered wings
Already spent.

Up, and up yet
Against the dark clouds
Lit from behind
In mighty grandeur wild.
Climbing against sea and sky,
Daring across the wind,
Bold amid the unending
Impersonal immense.

Copyright ©2001 Tony Crisp

Copyright © 1999-2010 Tony Crisp | All rights reserved