I watched a dragonfly today
Play in the meadow, near the bay.
It flitted up and down to my delight,
On double wings so delicate
That any learned estimate
Would guess they’d break apart in stress of flight.
Those see-through wings of black and white
That seem so delicate and light
Will carry little dragon on the wind
At speeds to take your breath away
In agile, acrobatic play,
Then hover gracefully where air has thinned.
To look at him, you’d think he’d sting,
Or take a bite of everything,
But that perception simply isn’t true.
For he’s a helpful little bug,
Not enemy or hurtful thug,
He benefits the places he flies through.
These creatures are misunderstood.
Their habits really are quite good.
They actually will never sting or bite.
These tiny airborne torpedoes
Quickly catch and eat mosquitoes.
For them, they have a healthy appetite.
These acrobats command the sky.
So, when you see a dragonfly,
Appreciate their lovely style and grace.
Just watch how fast it comes and goes,
Then settles on a twig to pose,
And realize its value to this place.
I marvel at its color hues.
It comes in black, and reds, and blues.
While sometimes, there’s a purple or a pink.
Near babbling brook, or glim’ring lake,
Is where I find their wings partake
Of currents, flying faster than you’d think.
This one that’s spotted black and white,
Is such a delicate delight,
That I could watch its antics all day long.
Would that be wrong?
his dragonfly is known as a 12 Spotted Skimmer. I found it at a nature park in St. Paul, Minnesota. The dragonfly is a very interesting insect. Dragonflies were some of the first winged insects to evolve, some 300 million years ago. Modern dragonflies have wingspans of only two to five inches, but fossil dragonflies have been found with wingspans of up to two feet. There are more than 5,000 known species of dragonflies, all of which (along with damselflies) belong to the order Odonata, which means “toothed one” in Greek and refers to the dragonfly’s serrated teeth.
Dragonflies are expert fliers. They can fly straight up and down, hover like a helicopter, and even mate mid-air. If they can’t fly, they’ll starve, because they only eat prey they catch while flying. Dragonflies, which eat insects as adults, are a great control on the mosquito population. A single dragonfly can eat 30 to hundreds of mosquitoes per day. Several years of their life are spent as a nymph living in freshwater; the adults may be on the wing for just a few days or weeks. They are fast agile fliers, sometimes migrating across oceans, and are often but not always found near water due to the fact that their larvae exist entirely in water. Their presence indicates a clean and healthy water zone. There are old and unreliable claims that dragonflies can fly at up to 60 – 65 miles per hour. That is amazing. There are many myths about Daragonflies. Source: The Smithsonian and Wikipedia.
This poem is structured in Sextets (6 line stanzas). It has a rhyme scheme of aabccb, and a meter of 8-8-10-8-8-10.
This photograph was taken by the author himself on June 21, 2012.