Dales Poetry

Poetry and Pictures from the Yorkshire Dales

Sonnet to a Mayfly

Rest now, the day is gone, your task complete.
Though iridescence fades with setting sun,
You danced in brilliance, your day was sweet;
Your purpose is achieved, the prize is won.

I shall watch here until the dusk descends,
Knowing your beauty will not long remain.
A lifeless husk will fragment in the winds
And drift back to your river bed again.

I do not seek your settled destiny,
I know that I shall fight death to the end,
But I respect your sure tranquility;
You rest content, whatever night may send.

Throughout long years I've sought to find my way.
You found fulfilment in a single day.

Mayfly by Michael Hartley

Michael Hartley

Sitting by Bishopdale Beck one day, reflecting on
the beauty of a mayfly which had made itself at
home on the back of my hand, I became aware
that exquisite beauty, and in some sense fulfilment,
may be found on nature’s smallest scale.