They are buzzing in my ears
hovering in and out of peripheral vision,
I kill them without compunction
knowing every ferned and mushroomed dent 
in the low, flat ground will nursery millions more
to feed my musical friends, the frogs,
and my totems, little dragons, the lizards.

I am smug in sleeves and jeans
and netted head,
when they whirr in confusion
but cannot reach 
my edible, blood-warm ears.

In my screened keep,
I survey the riches 
of a realm few dare or care to invade,
except the mosquitoes and I,
and I am prepared for siege.

I watched the boiling and frothing thunderheads 
driving in on wheels of lightning
I felt the sweet, cold wind before the squall
breathe life-promise to the land.
I saw the sudden storm 
excite the palmettos, 
inspiring them to speak in tongues 
and quiver and shake their palmate leaves.
I shared the following rainbow with no one but God,
(and the mosquitoes, who care only for the puddles.)

Wildflowers beaded with raindrops 
are richer than any diamond-set ruby or sapphire.

Sunlight and shade on the grass,
finer than any caliph's carpet.

Bright birds and butterflies,
lovelier dancers than the Tsar's ballet.

I will own it all for a short season, like a faerie dream,
and I need only repel the mosquito armies.

What net can I wear when I'm in my own world again
to defend against the buzz that sucks the blood
from moments when I ought to pause and give thanks for beauty?
How do I repel the daily demands
that would drive the poetry from my hand?

Dupuis Management Area, Lake Okeechobee

Everglades Poems

 Everglades ballad  In the Pines  Homo Pyrotechnicus  Watching the Shuttle  

The Purple Gallinule  Piney Woods  Sugar  Mosquitoes  Nothing Out There