Out of Reach

Weekly Scribblings #53 Beautiful Words

" For this week’s prompt, I’ve selected a few poetic names from Bruce Hamana Sosei’s book, 100 Beautiful Words in The Way of Tea. Pick the English version of one (or more if the mood hits you) to shape your words around."

I chose these two.  Both brought to mind impossibilities, striving for that which can never be achieved.  I have never seen fireflies, they don't exist here, so to go searching for them would be an exercise in futility, a wild goose chase.

Hotaru-gari – go searching for fireflies

Tsuki-koru – the moon freezes


There you go again,

just searching for fireflies.

The moon would sooner freeze in the sky

than you’ll ever leave this town. 


   ©2021 Lisa Smith Nelson. All Rights Reserved


  1. Oh, I'm sorry you've never seen a firefly (or lightning bug as we called them in my youth). They are magical. Love how you used the futility of searching for something that can't be found as a metaphor for never leaving town.

    1. They do look magical! Thank you, I'm glad you liked it.

  2. My youth was filled with lightning bugs!

  3. Wonderful poem; great mix of those beautiful phrases with colloquial tone.
    (I also grew up not seeing fireflies, but I now live in a place where they do exist.)

  4. They are fairly rare here...I have seen them once

  5. So many wonderful childhood memories of evenings spent catching fireflies, watching jars light up from within .. opening jars, watching as they flew away. Your poem brought it all back!!

    1. I read about those fairy tale summer nights! So glad to hear you let them go again.

  6. My cousins, two girls, taught me how to catch fire flies.
    Needed a fairly small, 3 to 6 inches, and a jar with a lid.
    Wait until dark,
    On a fairly dark night there will be oodles over grassy areas.
    Swoosh the net over the area where they are flying and think the fireflies are being caught up in your net.
    Go to a light, away from the foyers, remove the jar lid, put the open jar top over your net.
    Try to keep the fireflies from flying out of your net (some hold a piece of cardboard over the net)
    Hold the upside down jar over your cover.
    Slide the cover away from the jar.
    QUICKLY move the jar down, pushing gathered fireflies down with the jar.
    When the jar top is stalled against the net TURN every thing half way around.
    Keeping the jar top against the net, shake your fireflies down into the jar.
    When they are all in the jar screw the lid on.

    Now you are ready to take your jar light back into the dark. Catch some more if you see fit.

    When you are finished with them let them back out where you found them. No need letting them die.

    Yours will come in Seattle when it gets hot and humid, they will know and leave their cacoons as fliers. Their flying lifetime is only two weeks. But they will have lived about a year as worms in the open and then larva in their webs and then spending their final two weeks as flyers.

    Read up on them.

    We'll call the man in your Poem a "playboy" playing with fireflies. Beware, boys like their toys.

    1. You had that down to an art! No, I won't get fireflies. Well, not the kind that light anyway, the western ones don't. I am in Southern Oregon, I mentioned Seattle because Rob's profile says he's located there. My comment did make it sound like I was.
      Boys do like their toys, and so many of them never grow up!

  7. Good write! By the way, I have never seen fireflies, either.


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