On the Fly by John Harbison

Oh noble fly, you acrobat with clear
And simple wings, you buzz and buzz about
Our picnic in the Bernheim woods.  We know
You want to lap and suck the mayonnaise

We spread on ham and cheese.  We wave at you
With languid strokes that do no harm, but
Merely play your games.  Although you are a
Vector of disease, we know you also

Pollinate the flowers at our feet and
Thus add beauty to our woodland feast. Oh
Noble fly, what do you think about the
World you help to make? We thank you for the

Flowers, but really Sir, why don’t you just
Leave us alone and scatter pollen dust?

*Used with permission by John Harbison

The Latest Feet to the Fire News

Get Updates