As some of you might know, my friend and fellow poetry aficionado indy clause recently challenged me to a Poetry Off, in which she vowed to counter my old, dusty, and beloved copyright-free stuff (I’m totally paraphrasing), with more contemporary offerings.
A couple weeks ago, she answered my pre-vacation Summer poetry post with Talvikki Ansel’s “Folio Pages.”
It’s a beautiful poem, really the perfect match to every poem I’d posted . . . with the possible exception of Robert Frost’s “Fireflies in the Garden.” Which I immediately mentioned, because, um, Poetry Off.
She said that she could probably rustle up a poem about fireflies, but not a Firefly poem. I said that either would be shiny.*
A few days later, this was in my inbox:**
How Do I Love Firefly? Let Me Count the Ways
Where do I begin? Earthy in space,
Jewel Straite calico sweetheart, engineer
of all parts, those small hands,
grasp at my heart, or Zoe
the one I’d be afraid to love,
the edge of a knife, her lip, the wit.
and the Cap’n, his brow, Mal,
the wounded look, the sword
that shook, the duel he mistook.
Where did you first fall in love?
Was it the fiery labels, the spaceship’s wooden table,
the horses free of the stable? Or was it the Chinese swears,
the way Mal cares, fighting in pairs, the crazy look
Jayne gets in his eyes when he glares?
Maybe it’s the writing, the hopeless fighting,
the humor biting, the sepia lighting.
And let’s talk about whores, they never
are bores; why did Inara cast herself upon distant shores?
She is so obviously the woman Mal adores. And Shepherd Book,
the comic gives a look at the story of his past
but kills him at the last. There are crazy sisters,
ex-ministers, all A-listers. But the story isn’t finished,
the ship has been diminished. So early cut down,
by the fools and the clowns
that control the ratings,
with their bullshit prating, SyFy’s grating. The ManMoth
That is some fancible, A-list, Gao Guhn wordifying, ain’t it?
Sheh Sheh, my friend.
*If you have no idea what I’m talking about, hie yourself to a library or Netflix, find this series, spend a solid five minutes of silence contemplating how you have wasted your time thus far, and then have yourself a time.
**For which I’m profoundly grateful, since my co-workers were afraid I wouldn’t think I was appreciated if they didn’t bury my desk in a week’s worth of tasks—I’m not guessing, they told me this—which I’m trying to clear before Thursday, while functioning on the last lingering vestiges of vacation brain. The best I’d have done on my own this week would’ve been to sympathize with both Joyce Kilmer, whose lovely verses, as I mentioned last Wednesday, hold hidden dangers for my immature mind, and Thoreau, whom I’ve already done.