rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,

Bearable Lightness

The other day I saw a thing that pleased me. Lit by the sun's afternoon rays, four tiny insects with shining wings flew in a column inches above a bush. They rose and fell in elaborate dance, circling one another, one bobbing up as another dropped, then reversing, all in a space of a few inches. I suspected that it was some sort of mating ceremony. Though I knew they were kept aloft by a furious beating of wings, they gave the impression of utter weightlessness, and the sight of them filled me with an inexplicable joy. I watched for several minutes, until, one by one, they settled out of sight into the bush, the last of them making a few final bounces alone before following the others. The sight stirred something in my memory, but not sufficiently to bring it fully to consciousness. It bobbed below the surface each time the vision of those insects returned to my mind. Several times tonight, as the soft rain sought the earth and soothed my ears with a faint trickling in the gutters, the thought of those insects returned to me. At last, that hidden memory surfaced. I know the thing of which they reminded me, and it is todays . . .

. . . Sunday Verse:


by Richard Wilbur

A ball will bounce, but less and less. It's not
A light-hearted thing, resents its own resilience.
Falling is what it loves, and the earth falls
So in our hearts from brilliance,
Settles and is forgot.
It takes a sky-blue juggler with five red balls

To shake our gravity up. Whee, in the air
The balls roll round, wheel on his wheeling hands,
Learning the ways of lightness, alter to spheres
Grazing his finger ends,
Cling to their courses there,
Swinging a small heaven about his ears.

But a heaven is easier made of nothing at all
Than the earth regained, and still and sole within
The spin of worlds, with a gesture sure and noble
He reels that heaven in,
Landing it ball by ball,
And trades it all for a broom, a plate, a table.

Oh, on his toe the table is turning, the broom's
Balancing up on his nose, and the plate whirls
On the tip of the broom! Damn, what a show, we cry:
The boys stamp, and the girls
Shriek, and the drum booms
And all comes down, and he bows and says good-bye.

If the juggler is tired now, if the broom stands
In the dust again, if the table starts to drop
Through the daily dark again, and though the plate
Lies flat on the table top,
For him we batter our hands
Who has won for once over the world's weight.


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