What Gifts the Rain May Bring

        

What you call Invasive Species

I see for what they are—

scourged by hurricane winds,

dried up and tired and

picked at and picked over

Oh-so-ready to rest their broken bones

into the damp

 

In these I see

a haven in the trees

for fireflies lost and forgotten

seeking shelter

from the wind who

will always have her way

 

A nest to nourish lost dreams--

the ones most meaningful and yet

most likely to be sneered at

and declared Invasive

and sprayed with Round-Up

and chopped up don’t worry

it’s better this way

 

I see a place where you can do handstands and cartwheels

and build castles in the mud

and forts in the trees

and play Uno in your undies

in a tree house by flashlight

and talk like gangsters

and chew on carrots like cigars

and drink root beer floats without mom knowing

and blow bubbles through straws

with your nose

 

We all need a place to play--

a nest for fireflies lost and forgotten

where you can do anything

or do nothing

and just watch what gifts the rain may bring --

even when, especially when

we are all grown up.

   

In collaboration with Canadian dancer-poet Monique Léger, we created a movement piece using the firefly nests as inspiration.  Monique wrote this poem afterwards: 

 

the branch        -        I am

it around           -        inside and out

i too around      -       inside and out

wind moves you
wind doesn't move me
i am moved by the wind

the branches        -         in pods
held up high away from their roots--
still come alive ---
somehow

i away from my roots
how do i do this? 

storm        -          makeshift
to move me out of my habit

storms       -         on earth
do the same

disruption for beauty
eyes settle where they must and
reveal what wants to be seen

     -Monique Léger