Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Dragonfly
Kenny A. Chaffin
All Rights Reserved © 2016 Kenny A. Chaffin
1. Voracious Predators
I pull the right rear wing from the dragonfly. I release it to see if it can fly. It thrashes through the air making little forward progress, unable to hover. It twists and turns and falls to the ground in front of me. I stoop and pick it up in my palm and once more admire the beautiful iridescent blues and greens flashing in the sun. I stare at my own reflection in its huge black mirrors of eyes. It grasps my finger with its deadly claws. I pull the second rear wing loose and loft it into the air again. It flounders forward making only a bit more progress than before. I pull the remaining wings off and drop it, allowing it to crawl through the grass. Perhaps it will find ants, bugs or insects to consume.
Dragonflies hover and dart above the path and the overgrown grass beside the canal. They are fast angry beasts moving with fierce voracious speed. They consume mosquitoes, moths and midges in mid-air. They are relentless in their pursuit. They hover motionless before striking with lightning speed and deadly force. In little time at all they have cleared the air, consuming mosquitoes and the deadly viruses they bear.
3. Baby Jesus
Born into water dragonfly larvae are consumed by fish, frogs and most everything else but they in turn eat tiny aquatic insects, eggs, mosquito larvae, tadpoles, blood worms, snails and even small fish. Their nymphatic precipices color the gables of pond life. After years of gluttony they are reborn as was the baby Jesus, as was the Savior. Reborn into air for a few short weeks of quad-winged sexual pleasure before sacrificing themselves for future generations in the orgy of evolution. Much is written in the legions of old, in myth, in Revelations of these wonders. Dragonfly frescoes adorn ancient Egypt and all the civilizations that went before them. They were worshiped as Gods, as Demons and as Warriors in all lands, in all times. So it is written, so it is said, they are the light and the word, the body and the bread from which all things emerge.
4. Ass Breathers
Dragonfly nymphs breathe through gills in their anus. They can propel themselves with rocket-like propulsive spurts of water through that opening. This ability allows them to escape predators, to capture prey and of course for the mud-track circuit races held at the bottom of pond. Gills in the ass are critical for life, love and The American Way!
Just floating around all day. Lazing in the sun. Drinking wine and wasting time away. This is the golden path, the dragonfly way. Valedictorians of emergence. Celebrating, proclaiming, providing and hovering, hovering, hovering. Light glistening through transparent glass wings. All eyes fixed upon them see the way, know the glory, feel the path and the power.
Oooooh! Oooooh! Look at my long beautiful tail. Have you ever seen anything so lovely? I keep it clean and groom it daily. Do you like it? Do you really? I love my tail. Do you love yours? Here let me try this. I will curl my beautiful tail around and reach to your thorax. We will form a heart floating in midair for all to see. Beating, beating, pulsing, trembling. Oooooh! Ooooooh! Yes, yes, your sperm, yes...there, there, there. There you go! Ooooooh! Ahhhhh. Ahhhhh. Ahhhhh! Jeeeezus! Whaa! Whaa! Ooooooh! Was it good for you?
7. Water Witch
1500 eggs. 1500 eggs. 1500 eggs! Damn! That's what I get for fooling around. But boy was that guy hung or what! Yes. Wow! Ugga Ugga! Witch me a witch you water witch. I must find the pond and seed the seed. Life goes on. Life abounds. I dragon mother of all, mother of futures past, progenitor of what is to be. I give my life for you, to you my children. Live! Live! Live on!
8. Objet d'art
We are beautiful, we are beautiful, we are beautiful. Our colors shine. Our wings transparent. Light glistens, glitters and bounces from our beautiful wings with their magnificent patterned veins. Stained glass wings that inspired cathedrals. Cathedrals straining, struggling, reaching for the sky with their yearning flying buttresses and their sad colored windowpane eyes. From us they and more were born. Amulets, tushbas and Tiffany Lamps. Precise bio-tech drawings, glittering golden charms. Odonata. Odonata. We are beautiful, we are beautiful, we are beautiful.
Three hundred million years ago it was we who plucked baby dinosaurs from the ground and consumed their squealing heads. They fled from us in fear. Their mothers stamping and whirling at us. Lashing the air with their thunder tails, unable to touch us. We were too fast, too agile. We were the terrors of dinosaur dreams. We were huge. We commanded the skies. We struck fear into dinosaur hearts and minds. And so we do so still, for now and for all time to come.
Dragonflies resurrect snakes that have been rendered asunder by humans or hoofed animals. It is true. With mandibles, wings and piercing jaws we sew the snakes back together using fairy floss and thistle thread. We hover above them in colonies of grief. We sing our bitter songs to Heaven and the snake is reborn, to live again, to consume the farmer’s egg, to pull chicks from the nest and swallow them whole. Born again to terrorize mice and pets. We are healers of snakes, ressurrectors and Gods. So we are.
The beating of dragonfly wings bring the wind and the storms. They bring the tornadoes to the Great Plains destroying the works of man and nature. They bring the hurricanes to oceans, the waterspouts to seas. And the tempests to teapots. Of course to teapots. Copper teapots.
12. Bailiwicks of Prudence
Watching, watching always watching. They know everything. They see everything. They act. They are the ones that provide the secret information to the authorities; they are the unnamed witness, they are the providers of status to Santa Clause and the hovering entities whispering into your spouse's right ear regarding your infidelities. They see you masturbating. They know every thought in your mind and they will be waiting in the light at the end of that final tunnel through which we all must pass. They will be waiting to bear witness and provide final retribution for all that has been done. It is they that will balance the scales of justice.
Dragonbird singing in the dead of night. Take these lonely verses yearning to be free. Take these thirteen apocalyptical riders of broken skies. Blackbird ravens. Take them singing. Take them winging. Take them watching. Watching. Watching McCartney. Wallace. Stevens. Darwin. Poe. They are dragonflies. Now and forever. Four and thirty of them. Ever. Ever. Ever. Evermore, quoth the eternal lost Lenore.