Tag Archives: fireflies


Tonight is cool, after several sweltering days. June fireflies dance in the meadow, and young goldenrods shoot upwards. The grass is still now that the sun has set. It’s silent, until the softest breeze tickles the treetops, sends them rushing like ocean ripples on sand. The breeze blows itself out in a few seconds, and then another gentle breath flows by.

A woodcock flies by in the twilight, whistling its song as fast as its hectic wings beat. The bird is a blur in the distance, barely visible, when another blur joins it. Both dive downwards and are gone. The song is over; a companion is found.

The sky and shadowland are both still. Jupiter shines. First stars twinkle. The fireflies and one lonely cricket are holding back, staying subtle. It’s only June. August is the time for nighttime ruckus, the last hoedown of summer.

Tonight, the soft, dying breaths of wind are prelude to autumn. I’ve heard them before under cold, empty skies, full harvest moon glaring over a barren October landscape. Tree branches clink together. Leaves rustle. I shiver with cold.

But tonight it’s June. And just as February’s sunshine foretells the spring thaw, this night whispers of coming frost.



Firefly Shallows

There’s a sparkle in the distance. A boat on midnight’s lake. Grass, if it is grass, whispers past my toes. Mist in the air, cool and ticklish on my face. I hear the change from land to liquid and stop at water’s edge.

I’ve been here before. I feel that. Even in this darkness, a moment after everything went dark for the last time.

Shadows whisper in the back recesses of my mind. Blue. I can’t see it, can barely sense it, but there is blue fog, light, moving near me. Moisture on my hand. Fireflies on the lake.

Sight has a strange way of leaving the body. Even after the eyes go, the memories of light shift beneath the surface. The mind’s eye continues to imagine. Hear sounds in silence, see light in the dark. That’s what they told me. But I’m starting to think I can see better without eyes.

Remember me?”

The sparkle of light has a voice. It’s a lantern.

I met you here,” the lamp says. “Once before.” It has an oar. A rowboat.

Hesitating only a moment, I step into the boat. My feet know where to go. I tuck them out of the way, beneath my wooden seat.

They always remember,” the lamp mutters, and slices glass with the oar.

Ripples on the water. I trail the lamp like a kite. After a lifetime of noise, of clicks and honks and shapes and colors, this is refreshing. It’s more than refreshing. I’ve almost forgotten already.

Who are you?” I say.

They all ask the same thing,” the lamp says, thrusting its oar into the water with energy.

I settle down, and wait. All my life I’ve been waiting. Waiting for the blindness to set in. Waiting for the rest of it to take me. Waiting to find this place again, though I never knew that much till I was here.

That will tell you,” the lamp says, gesturing with wood. There’s an island, the smallest island, and it seems to be sailing towards me. The ground shimmers.

I stand up, strangely steady. I step ashore. The ground is oozing and solid at once. Fireflies dance in the watery shallows. I wonder whether my mind is playing tricks on me. I wonder if it always has been, and only now has finally stopped.

By Starlight

The first thing you notice is the emptiness. Notice the sound, the feel, even the taste of open air. You’re exposed, and you know it. Alert and listening, you look around at the rustling leaves and wait for your eyes to adjust. You look up and see stars, and start walking.

A crystal roof of pinpoints, featureless if you don’t see the patterns. Living alongside the fireflies.

It’s empty out there, full of possibilities. The stars are closer than the rustling leaves, closer than the blinking lights on a distant hill.

They can’t be that close. Not really . . . but they are. Lightyears apart, all you really know is that the reaching fingers of dead space haven’t caught you yet. You’re under a blanket of warmth, the summer air a thin veil between solid earth and empty sky.

The stars are yours. Made for you.

This is the only time that ever was or will be.