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"I Have Never Travelled Beyond"- from The Ruby of the Universe
- Dan Lukiv

this poem is from The Ruby of the Universe. The title is taken from a line in the final poem, and all of them explore themes related to war. click here to read the others.


I Have Never Travelled Beyond

I have never traveled beyond
The crack of gunfire;
O, I've visited backyard swimming pools
And steamy swamps
And mountain-locked lakes where
Dragonflies turn at 2.5 G's
And dance
In mosquito-air
And shore-side ballrooms of
Green.

I've seen them outperform
Timid damselflies
(That rest with upturned,
Not sideturned, wings),
In 60 mph sprints
And moment's-notice backward-, forward-,
Sideway-, or hover-steps.

30,000 images to 80% of its brain-mass
Locate mosquito-meat at 60 feet
At dusk--
And 24 frames per second of "In Love and War"
Are still-photos
For this sniper extraordinaire,
This metallic flash of blue
Or green or yellow.

The wet larva,
Sometimes after years of skin-altering,
Settles on a reed;
The change, the growth,
Like the workings of testosterone
In a boy's blood--

Watch the skin along the thorax split:
A new life,
A new hunter of aphids and beetles
And tiny frogs,
A new sniper in Philippine-
Canyons,
A new jewel for ponds and
Riverbanks--
A new insultingly-named
Helicopter
Within the zing
Of bullets.

I have never traveled beyond
The crack of gunfire,
But I have seen dragonflies
Everywhere.


Dan Lukiv is a writer, educator, and frequent contributor to canadian content.
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