Firefly, why? #poetry #dVerse

Firefly, why
do you so rarely appear now
to light my sky?

You lantern-lit the rosebushes
in my garden in Ametlla
as if flitting from branch-to-branch
granting wishes.

Firefly, why
did we frighten you away
with our light-hungry folly?
And where will you now stay?

Lighting up a Christmas bush
under the carved figure of Christ  
crucified in Bled, under the moonlight:
Won’t you tell me where you fled?

Firefly, why
do we not curb our damaging 
hive-mind activity
dangerous to you, and threatening to me?
Perhaps you can tell me, little firefly, why?

For now I cannot see.

© 2021 All Rights Reserved.

Written for dVerse

This is my second poem for Sarah’s ‘Creepys and Crawlies‘ prompt at dVerse. It was inspired by Judy Dykstra-Brown’s poem, ‘Incandescent Insect Insomnia,’ which reminded me of the few times I have seen glow worms (or fireflies) in my life. I read a bit more about them on Wikipedia, and found out that they, like so many other species, are in decline worldwide. I also found out that they are good indicators for the state of biodiversity and the effects of light pollution, as when we do see them, we tend to take notice.

Image by jplenio from Pixabay

54 thoughts on “Firefly, why? #poetry #dVerse

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  1. That’s so relatable to us! Even I wrote a poem about the same theme a month ago. Here are few lines from it –
    A dying bulb, an invisible smoke,
    Now I can’t find a firefly of hope.
    A dark night, a memory from past,
    Sleeping next to me in a robe.

    I yet have to publish it on my website though!

      1. Yeah it is! I’ll let you know when it’s published! Thank you for showing interest! 🙂

  2. a nice write Ingrid, their population has declined massively here … to the point where local councils are fencing off the tunnels where they propagate hoping privacy might help them breed.

  3. ;-( Sad. This reminds me of a song by an Australian singer-song writer who writes mostly for kids. His name is John Williamson and he wrote a sweet little song about how koalas are endangered called “Goodbye Bunyip Bluegum”. I still love it. He wrote it in the ’80s. Koalas are worse off now than they were then. Why? It’s such a good question you ask.

  4. A lovely poem that touches on a serious situation. Here we still have clean streams where we see them (and make a big deal about them) yearly. Like the many flowers, they were out and about earlier than they usually do. We got to see them at the tail end of April. Thanks for sharing your lovely poem. Enjoyed. Totally. The repetitive “Firefly, why,” is adorable. xo

  5. I actually watched a programme on why fireflies are dying out, Ingrid, but it’s too much to explain here! In short, the females are eating all the males because they think they’re rival males when they’re actually mimicking the call of the rival males so the females don’t mate with them, but then they end up getting eaten by them! Hence they end up not breeding. It’s a little dark, I’m afraid. I wrote a poem about it for NaPoWriMo earlier in the year after studying the subject at length.

    And yes, you are right, us humans are light-hungry and haven’t helped their cause at all. I really enjoyed how this poem flowed with all the questions, the search for the elusive firefly 🙂

  6. I count myself to be lucky that My Beloved Sandra and I live here, our back porch overlooking about 6 of our 10 acres of untended grassy meadow that sparkles with thousands of these beautiful critters for several weeks during mid-summer to the point where folks find ways to finagle invitations to come up & sit with us while we enjoy the lightshow.
    Fine work, Ingrid!

      1. I better hurry up, before their light disappears. 😢 One that (sad) note, I am reading through your gorgeous poetry collection. A review is coming. 😊

  7. The beauty of your rhyming repeating opening line draws me in, Ingrid, and holds me to the end. We often get many fireflies here in the summer and their golden twinkles at the edges of the lawn among the trees are beautiful. I am saddened to know they are in decline . . .
    Thank you for sharing!

  8. They have appeared less and less. Seems summer nights were carnival like in the past just from the beautiful random flashes of light. Wonderful imagery-I really like the wand-like image of the fireflies flitting and granting wishes.

  9. Loved this Ingrid. Fireflies are wonderful. Growing up in the Midwest of the US, we had lightening bugs (fireflies) every night in summer. I loved catching them, then watching them flash in my cupped hands, then releasing them from the flat of my palm to watch them take flight. Always pretended they were helicopters taking off. I haven’t seen a firefly for years. They apparently don’t live in the Pacific Northwest.

  10. Such a tender loving poem to honor the sweet fireflies and sad they are on the decline. I’m afraid I’ve only seen them in Disneyland ( fake ones) and a couple other times in my life. 🥲 firefly why?!!

  11. It is alarming when bees and fireflies are declining. I love the whimsical tone of this poem. I dont think I have ever seen fireflies in real time. They must be so lovely.

  12. A lovely, poignant poem, Ingrid. So sorry to hear that fireflies are endangered! <3

    My sister is looking for a retirement home, a place with dark skies where she can enjoy the stars. i am sure she would also appreciate some lightening bugs as well! <3

  13. I have seen them once. I like the biblical reference in your poem… the lights under the Christmas.trees…I have not seen the shiny green Christmas beetles since I was a child…all gone because of pollution.

  14. Oh my, Ingrid. This piece is reminiscent of better days. A poem so beautiful to the mind’s eye (“Lighting up a Christmas bush”) but with so many disconcerting questions (they light up here and there, dinging and pinging like the missing firefly).

    Truly well done. Damn.

  15. Good question honoring fireflies. Years ago, we used to see fireflies every night in the backyard during the summertime. I believe it’s the neighbors and city spraying for mosquitoes that has chased them away. I never spray for bugs outside the house. Now, it’s a delight when I get to see them in the mountains or in more rural areas. Interesting reference to the “figure of Christ crucified in Bled, under the moonlight.” Are we sacrificing fireflies? I hope they stay alive in the forests and fields.

  16. Luckily, I still see them where I am on summer nights. One night on my walk they lit up the path. It has been a long time since I saw so many guide the way.

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