MIDGES

Among the trees, from light and shade,

The midges wheel and whirl and play;

Gyrating spangles of the glade,

They pirouette all through the day.

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Intent upon their nuptial dance,

They rise and fall, converge, disperse:

An eddy in the sunbeam's glance-

The hub of their own universe!

THE GOLDEN FACE © Theodore Stephanides 1965

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"If you would see all of Nature gathered up at one point, in all her loveliness, and her skill, and her deadliness, and her sex, where would you find a more exquisite symbol than the Mosquito?

Havelock Ellis, 1920

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"The irritating thing about all these noxious insects is that they are so fascinating. Look at a dismembered housefly or mosquito under a microscope and immediately you become captivated by the architectural beauty of their construction. The compound eye of the housefly, for example, is a miracle of design. The delicacy of the wings of some of these insects under the microscope show stained-glass windows more beautifully wrought than anything to be seen at Chartres cathedral. Indeed, once you have seen the component part of some of the creatures magnified and studied their incredible intricacies of design you have a faint, guilty qualm at swatting one and crushing such a structural miracle." 

THE AYE-AYE AND I © Gerald Durrell 1992

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DUELLO

I tried to stab you; I deserved

Your fierce riposte, that I admit.

You lunged and got me as I swerved

And, vanquished, now this world I quit.

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But pity me; remember that

I did not ask to be a gnat.

CITIES OF THE MIND © Theodore Stephanides 1969

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