Reverb10 – Day10 – Wisdom

December 10 – Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)

“They want to know what wise decision I’ve made,”
I laughed, melting into the couch,
“Tricky question. I’ve made no decisions.”


Every autumn as the air cools the irritation of August
and the leaves shed green costuming and flash their scarlet underclothes
a single insect chewing stops, sniffs the air,
declares itself fat enough,
and lurches into the sky.

It waves orange wings to orange leaves turning,

Without passport or flight plan
The insect aims its tiny breath of self
Orients across vast space
Empty of meaning, full of danger
To a small distant point it has never seen

The journey calls the butterfly
The butterfly attends

When the wind comes,
A giant roar ripping through the journey’s path
the insect stops, perches, waits.
When ballistic rain slams the leaves,
Rattles the air,
Creates soup from sustaining lift,
the insect stops, goes beneath, and waits.

The insect travels without company,
No V-formation to switch the lead,
It does not slice the air to carve a path
But tumbles over it;

As the insect finds its way closer
(to the small distant point)
Others join beside, and there, and another,
Flashing orange and black at each other
They become a gust, and then a torrent.

Together they arrive
A great cyclone of colour and wings
They set down on a tree, covering it,
A tree with a million leaves added, creaking with strain,
Hefting bodies and journeys along its weight

The insect opens and closes its wings,
A tiny breath in a gale.

The journey calls,
the moment attends.


  1. This took my breath away.

  2. Thanks. I don’t really understand poetry or how it’s done, but this sort of gripped me sideways, so I wrote it anyway.

  3. You might not have made any decisions, but you wrote a damn fine poem! That’s just lovely.

  4. Thanks!

  5. Arwen! This poem is lovely and alsoplus very good.

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