Even the blowflies ferocious

I spent an evening last week swatting down mosquitoes and moths. The moths are the vicious sort that will eat holes in fabric between one blink of the eye and another. It has been known for me to put a knitted item down on my chair, and then pick it up two hours later with three moth-holes chewed into it. In my room there is such a selection of moths in incremental stages of growth that I am convinced they are breeding somewhere in the cupboard or behind a bookshelf. The mosquitoes, I know, are breeding in the buckets and pots of stagnant water under my window in the yard below.

At this time of the summer, when the tiny flying and crawling messengers make their way into the house to eat up the last of the season’s succulence (my blood, the summer fruit, a cardigan), the closing hours are near. So near that there are already mushrooms in their colonies among the tree-roots in the wood (find a mention in my previous poem, ‘He could not pause too long‘). The nights are a little colder and only a week ago, we were expiring in the sunshine.

From this height to what feels like the season’s shift (although we may still be in for a second warmth) and during my battle with the flying fiends, I was reminded of a poem I had written about summer’s excess turning to rot. To my surprise I discover that it is two years old, yet it still speaks of current things.

‘Rotting Pear’ by nathanmac87 on Flickr.com  from everystockphoto.com. License: Attribution License

An overdose of summer

Soft to the thumb,
the pear I sliced
was gone.
It was rotten inside.

In a wither of ruffles
the rose-heads have browned
dry in the heat.
They sodden after it’s stormed.

Even the blowflies ferocious
have stopped their wings,
landed their green torpedoes
for the last time.

Something from lunch
churns in my stomach –

the rice, three days old?
the dhal, two days defrosted?
the sliver of cheese, too sweaty?
the coffee, a cup too many?

Now I, too, struggle
to hold down this summer.


Published by BeadedQuill

Author of over 300 poems, also books, essays and short stories. Published in the Johannesburg Review of Books, Carapace and Type/Cast. BeadedQuill's titles are for sale via Blurb.co.uk

2 thoughts on “Even the blowflies ferocious

  1. Greetings,

    Mosquitoes can be a sure plight in the tropics! Some of them aggressively thirsty to such a point of being suicidal and fear no hitting hands! Till you realise you can never completely get rid of them (except if you spray poisonous gases (fogging) which also kills the geckos…) – you learn to live with them. Uncovered water storage containers for watering plants which are regularly used will not allow them to spread / populate as their larvae; as they require several days to grow into adults will always be used up. Mosquitoes also love abandoned properties and residue of rains that gets collected in mugs, leaves, the ground that doesn’t absorb it, bushes or hide in some corners of walls – they are pretty polyvalent! They have times where they love to drink blood the must, that is as from 4pm through the night – at that time it’s best to close the doors. Moths… hmm – OK! I’ll take note of this and consider placing some mothballs.

    Nice photo! Love eating and drinking that fruit!

    I hope your stomach will be nice to you and churn without side effects nor think of doing some acid reflux!

    Bonne journée!

    1. Thank you for taking the time to send me word. It’s always lovely to read comments. Can you believe that all these crazy creatures are up to their buzzing, biting, blood-sucking antics in urban London? As the poem highlights, there comes a point during the summer when everything has reached its zenith and must turn towards the next stage. BQ

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