Take these wings. I have
no business in the sky.
From now on I shall confine myself
to smaller sections of an arc,
go back to the bitter
milk I was weaned on
at the silk-parachute plant.
None of this erratic dancing
about on a trajectory
that’s impossible to plot.
That’s not how dragon-
flies do it, much less wrens,
airplanes or hummingbirds.
My piloting mechanism must have
a fatal flaw, & I lack
the strength to climb much higher
than the hills. I have
no business flying, & aim to stop—
as soon as I can figure out
how to get back in that mummy
sack, the chrysalis.
Whatever made me dream up
some place called Mexico?

Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

5 Replies to “Delusional”

  1. Just absolutely beautiful, Dave. Is Mexico the flame to your moth who might like to fly with the Monarchs? I’m always afraid to ask about a poem, because of my unfailing ability to fall through the imagery into a wrong place. This could have been a person.. and

    I actually was taken by that “have no strength to climb much higher than the hills’ and from there went off on my own personal dream flying delusion. I rarely even attempt anything in a serious vein, but I’m getting too old not to give it a shot.

    Time Travel

    My dreams of flying lack the gift of loft
    No transcendental trips appear to me
    I pierce no holes in overhanging clouds
    Nor seek to add more footprints to the moon
    Instead I hover just above the trees
    Arms in clumsy breast stroke flailing wild
    Frantic to return to childhood home
    Where my beloved dead are still alive
    Quick! Quick! Before I wake to mourn

    1. Hi Joan — The reference species here is in fact a monarch (the caterpillars feed exclusively on plants in the milkweed family, hence “bitter milk” and “parachute plant”). I like your poem — “the gift of loft” is very resonant, and the ending works for me. Nice to see a writer of light verse, uh, stretching her wings!

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