fireflies

a wise man watching the stars move
across the sky remarked, "in the upper air
the fireflies move more slowly."

are you a star or a firefly?

you are both, and more.
you moved slowly which enabled me
to capture you in a jar
as i once captured fireflies
on a warm summer's night.

in the jar,
your hypnotically-soft flickering and pulsing light
captured me just as i captured you.
it really matters not who captured whom.
the result brightens my life in magical ways.

as a boy, I would release a firefly from its jar
so that it could fly free again.
but as it flew afar, i would immediately feel my life darkened.
i would instantly and deeply miss the firefly’s flickering, enticing light.

i had not released it to fly far away from me.
my intention was to free it so that it could breathe freely again.
like lilies in a field or birds in the air, like the stars and the moon,
fireflies thrive when they are free.

like the fireflies on a summer night, our meetings are brief.
but those few moments when we are one are always glorious.
let's bask in the beauty of special places before we release one another
to once again be free.

you and i moving magically in the dark quiet of a warm summer's night...
as mysteriously and slowly as the wise man's fireflies glowing somewhere
in the upper air.

copyrighted – tokyo, japan - 1998