On the Nature of Beauty

by on May 15, 2015

Linda and I by the woodpile
entranced by a beautiful dragonfly—
green head and speckled body
caught in a spider web,
wings wrapped in sticky silver,
dangling in air from the shed roof.

As we begin to unwrap the dead jewel
it springs suddenly to life,
one wing freed, fluttering madly,
the other still ensnared.

As the dragonfly in a single movement
twists and is free, our cat Sara,
lurking nearby in the purple sage,
leaps an impossible distance

and inches from our startled faces
catches the dragonfly in her teeth,
runs into the yard as though
she were the most beautiful god
in the world.


Dane Cervine was nominated for a 2013 Pushcart Poetry Prize, won the 2013 Atlanta Review Poetry Prize, and the 2013 Morton Marcus Poetry 2nd Prize. His new book is entitled How Therapists Dance, from Plain View Press (2013), which also published his previous book The Jeweled Net of Indra.  His poems have been chosen by Adrienne Rich and Tony Hoagland for awards, and appeared in a wide variety of journals including The Hudson Review, The SUN Magazine, Sycamore Review, Catamaran Literary Reader, Red Wheelbarrow, numerous anthologies, newspapers, video & animation. Look for his essays at TriQuarterly, CONTRARY, and The Turning Wheel. Visit his website at Dane Cervine Writes

3 thoughts on “On the Nature of Beauty

  1. Beautiful and devastating. It was painful to read about the cat catching the firefly right after it was freed. And of course, we all recognize how proud cats are after a successful hunt. Shows instinct and nature for what it is–beautiful and deadly. Great poem.

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