A Fly’s Purpose

I do not know the purpose of a fly,
yet it must surely have one.
Don’t we all crave direction?
Maybe we are aiming for heaven.
But this poor thing,
(I say ‘poor’ because I hate to see
anything suffer, even if
it is carrying a thousand germs)
thrashing itself against my window
time and time again,
a failed suicide attempt,
has clearly lost it’s way.
I see this as a cry for help,
wander over to the window,
open it and set the fly free
to flit into the moment of its life,
into the hub of nature’s ways.
And what could be closer to heaven than that?


52 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. LΓ©a
    Jul 14, 2015 @ 13:12:32

    Who but you could make a fly so interesting? NOBODY! I’ll tell you the purpose of one fly. It managed to get into my house and Pablo, two months old, my kitten decided it was the focus of an elaborate aerobic workout. Just now, Pablo is sleeping it all of. xxx


  2. LΓ©a
    Jul 14, 2015 @ 13:13:38

    Sorry, that was sleeping it all off! xxx


  3. lscotthoughts
    Jul 14, 2015 @ 14:22:09

    I don’t think anyone or anything could make me feel compassionate emotions for a fly, Chris! But you did it. What a great poem and also an inspiration for writing from anything we take notice of in life. Love it! β™₯ xx


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 14, 2015 @ 14:28:50

      Thank you Lauren! I think it was the obvious distress this poor creature was in. desperately trying to find the outdoors. I just felt extremely sorry for it! And watching it fly free was quite a moment. Might sound a bit daft, but that’s how it was! 😊❀️ Xxx


      • lscotthoughts
        Jul 14, 2015 @ 14:30:22

        I totally understand not wanting anything to suffer. I had a horrible experience a few weeks ago with a more likable creature but I won’t go into that here on your blog. Just know I understand. πŸ™‚ β™₯

  4. Glendadoodle
    Jul 14, 2015 @ 14:34:54

    fr Chris my lovely friend, who but you could place the fly within a context that applies to all others. We all want to be free but we all bash ourselves against an unseen glass. When I do that you are one of the few people who comes and set me free… XX


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 14, 2015 @ 14:50:29

      Oh Glenda, first Im teary eyed from your sonnet and now from this lovely comment. Thank you so much. I think we look out for each other and whenever we can we fly free together, even if it is simply sitting together outside at Wetherspoons on Friday mornings in summer. Wonderful ‘shining highlights’ as you so rightly call them xxx


  5. jeanette taylor ford
    Jul 14, 2015 @ 15:12:13

    Like the others who have commented, I am impressed that you could convey a fly as a thing for compassion. I do not like flies but am always happy to see them fly free instead of dying. Life is so short and even a fly has a right to life, even if we don’t like them. A great analogy indeed; often we bump fruitlessly against the glass hurdles of our lives; we want to be free too. And often it takes someone else to either open the window or help us see through the glass more clearly. xx


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 14, 2015 @ 15:34:07

      Hi Jeanette, it’s good to see you here. And thank you for your thoughtful comment. I’m pleased the poem spoke to you in the way it did. None of us wants to find ourselves thrashing against life’s window. x


  6. Cynthia Jobin
    Jul 14, 2015 @ 15:15:46

    For me, Chris, this is one of your best poems…..it reminds me of the heart of Buddhism and the mind of Emily Dickinson. I used to swat flies without even giving it a thought. Now, as with you, suffering has taught me something about “the hub of nature’s ways”, the real meaning of compassion, even for a fly.


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 14, 2015 @ 15:29:02

      I’m right with you Cynthia in that suffering has taught me much about compassion too. Like you, years ago I would have happily swatted a fly but now all that thinking (or non-thinking) has changed. Thank you for this lovely comment. I love our conversations 😊 x


  7. Peter Wells aka Countingducks
    Jul 14, 2015 @ 15:44:25

    I love this. I have special equipment in the shape of a still wrapped greeting card and a glass which I use to capture flies, moths, bees and other visitors before thanking them for their visit and depositing them in the garden. Even the smallest thing is a wonder of nature and I never forget that, unless it’s biting me !


  8. Jackie
    Jul 14, 2015 @ 16:11:00

    Wonderful! The very essence of compassion. xo


  9. bardessdmdenton
    Jul 14, 2015 @ 16:42:57

    Very very nice, Christine. XO


  10. Polly
    Jul 14, 2015 @ 17:20:24

    heh-heh…you do give me the giggles, Chris. πŸ™‚ x


  11. Norma (Through My Eyes)
    Jul 15, 2015 @ 11:46:36

    Aw this is lovely Christine. What a kind and thoughtful heart you have. I’m glad he made it out πŸ™‚

    PS. it’s hard to read your blog and I’m thinking something is wrong with it. I has emoticons banded across it. I can send you a screenshot if you like.


  12. Jane Thorne
    Jul 17, 2015 @ 07:10:05

    Oh Chris, this piece moved me to tears as the analogy is so evocative. Your loving friendship has reached out and stopped me bashing myself on many occasions. You have a way of making life real and this poem is one of your best I feel. I love you, always. ❀ Xxx ❀


  13. Minuscule Moments
    Jul 17, 2015 @ 21:55:47

    Christine enjoyed this poem. Some flies carry pollen for our flowers, some feed our frogs, everything has a purpose doesn’t it. I am glad you set it free on the wind because then you created this poem. Inspiration comes from the strangest places sometimes.


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 18, 2015 @ 09:46:55

      Thank you Kath. I feel compassion for the tiniest creatures. Whatever their fate, they all deserve the life they have been given.

      We are off on holiday for a week so I am armed with pain killers which is rather a shame. I thought I would.be well over the fall by now but its going to take a lot longer than I thought.X


      • Minuscule Moments
        Jul 19, 2015 @ 20:13:52

        Thinking of you Christine hope it gets better. I am the same with little creatures. I went to put a log on the fire and noticed all these ants taking their eggs out of the log, so I put the log in the garden so they have time to evacuate and find a new home.

    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 24, 2015 @ 14:54:03

      I love your ant story Kath! 😊


  14. beckarooney
    Jul 19, 2015 @ 17:46:37

    I love how you capture everyday things and turn them into pure gold! You have fantastic powers of observation Christine, really enjoyed this poem. Hope you’re having a good weekend xx


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 24, 2015 @ 15:00:10

      Thank you Becky! We have just got home after a week in a cottage in North Yorkshire, a gorgeous place with beautiful gardens of roses, lavender, wild flowers and all kinds of grasses but the week was marred somewhat by my back pain after falling badly,courtesy of the MS a few weeks ago. We still had a good time though; the whole family were there, fourteen of us! πŸ˜„ xx


  15. Suzy Hazelwood
    Jul 20, 2015 @ 00:02:49

    Oh yes I agree Christine! πŸ™‚ As much as I don’t like insects much, in my maturing late forties I feel for them much more than I did. They are living things just as we are. Your poem is very timely, the communal hallway to my flat has been recently plagued with large flies three times in over two months. It’s a mystery as to where they are coming from. One morning I opened my front door to find my stairway covered in about 30 flies. That’s a lot when you see them all together! I freaked out and called my landlord who very kindly called by and slapped them with a fly swat for me! It was an awkward job to get them going down the stairs – gave me the creeps!

    But like you, I felt I wanted to save them. They were new flies and probably had no idea what they were let alone how to get out of a closed hallway. Another time I did let some out the front door into the sunshine. The mystery remains as to where they have come from. Strangely even my brother said recently that he felt a little guilty killing insects.

    Thanks for your thoughtful poem Christine, I think reading thoughts like this makes flying things a lot less threatening! πŸ™‚


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 24, 2015 @ 15:05:51

      I know what you mean about flies Suzy, and I would be horrified to have to encounter about thirty of them!! But while I was sitting there watching this one, my heart just went out to it and I thought how we all deserve to live our lives. It never asked to be here and now it was trapped and heading towards an agonisingly slow demise. If it’s purpose is to be food for another creature then at least I allowed it to have its freedom until then 😊 x


  16. kathryningrid
    Jul 21, 2015 @ 20:09:47

    We are indeed the essence of brevity, we living creatures. Sweetly said, sweetly done. xoxoxo!


  17. Wendy L. Macdonald
    Jul 24, 2015 @ 17:05:37

    I agree, Christine, that nature is heavenly. Your gracious attitude toward the tiny creature is also a taste of heaven.
    Blessings & hugs ~ Wendy


  18. Thomas Davis
    Jul 25, 2015 @ 22:28:29

    “flit into the moment of his life.” This line makes the poem, Christine. Reminds of something John Donne might have written.


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 26, 2015 @ 09:01:11

      Thanks Tom, it’s good to see you. This poem came from being forced to sit still in a chair for three weeks after falling badly. It’s quite amazing what we notice when we are not distracted by the busyness of life. I think my move over to the window was the only one I made that day and I did it when no one was looking!


  19. Bennison Books
    Jul 26, 2015 @ 12:16:48

    Hi, Chris – I scrolled down to say how very much I like the line ‘flit into the moment of his life’ to find that Tom had already highlighted it. It really is a standout line, though – so thought I would say so again. The humble fly, it seems, is not so humble after all. πŸ™‚ xx


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