Lyrics & Music: Maureen S. O'Brien, 1994
The lyrics rippled from my tongue,
The rhythm from my blood.
It came to me as I walked home
Through the darkness and the mud;
And I sang it in the sleeting cold
And the music kept me warm --
But I lost it when I got home
To the bustle of the dorm.
The majesty, the mystery, the meaning & the mood --
I lost it all when the song slipped away,
Leaving only bits of lyrics
And a couple scraps of tune,
Or I would have sung that song to you today.
They come, then they're gone
Flashing bright wings as they flutter away
Given only for a moment, but they make that moment shine
They are taken away.
The sculptor loses all that's wrought
In a chance dropping of clay.
The fisher's favorite fish is always
One that got away.
And the best things that I've written,
The things that held my heart,
Were those I made, and lost again -
Momentary works of art.
Is it brevity that makes me think those songs were so good,
Or is it some illusion in my memory?
And dare I hope that someday
Ev'ry song I've made and lost
Will finally be given back to me?
The term 'dragonfly song' is from Ursula K. LeGuin's
Always Coming Home. She used it to refer to improvisational singing.
So, what do you think? Mail me at email@example.com You are permitted to copy this for personal, non-commercial purposes. If you want to do anything else, mail me and we'll deal.