This isn't Britain and so, in spite of it being late-ish November, it is perfectly possible to sit outside in shirt sleeves and soak up the sun and scribble a few notes for possible write-up later.
This idyllic picture is only spoilt by the number of unseasonable flies that seem to relish freshly washed skin in the same way that I enjoy my tea! Frankly, I feel cheated. We are brought up to regard flies with a certain loathing as disgusting insects that feed on filth and dissolve that filth with the enzymes in their own vomit which they then suck up. So why is the squeaky clean me such a target?
Flies obviously have a certain fascination for me as this is not the first time that they have been the subject of one of my poems. I suppose I am interested in the way that their lives seem to be linked to ours in many ways and yet at the same time completely separate. And their speed of life is so far removed from ours - the lazy way in which they seem to be able to avoid a swatting hand; we must be so slow and clumsy to them!
Anyway, the number of the buzzing pests alighting on my knees (yes, I am still wearing shorts!) prompted me to write.
The title links to the ending of the poem and perhaps ironically references human vanity.
(those airborne harvesters of death
sucking their way towards the bone)
my soaped fresh flesh!
They sense decay
beneath the skin:
memento mori banqueting.
The autumn sunshine crafts a day,
shielding the cold within its warmth
as subtle as a bone-stroked breeze
that cannot move the emptied trees.
A seismic shift of my great limbs
as drink is brought up to my lips
disrupts the feeders’ tiny feasts,
but gravity will drag them back
to what must always be their world.