March Flies

Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis 1876 (Auburn) – 1938 (Melbourne)

Now comes the time when we douse flies
With various kinds of sprays
The sand flies, and the house flies,
And the flies with furtive ways.
But I keep my hate for the large flies
That come for the tree-lined creek
Those arch flies, the March flies
With a crosscut saw for a beak.

Now, most flies rouse in the autumn
From the summer's drowsy daze,
And they bite as nature taught 'em,
In various styles and ways.
They nip, or they stab or they burrow;
But the fly that knocks me out
Is the March fly, with the dull, dead eye
And a crosscut saw for a snout.

Now the house flies come to the table
Or busily play on the pane;
And our rage and heat they calmly treat
With the uttermost disdain.
And the buzz-flies buzz and blunder,
And the sandflies dig right in;
But my whole soul shrinks when the March fly sinks
His crosscut under my skin.

He's a sneak and an arrant coward,
And the lowest of low-down cows,
By nature ghoulishly dowered
With a weapon no law allows.
And it isn't the pain he gives me
Nor the blood he may chance to draw,
It's the loathsome way that he makes foul play
With his really terrible,
Most unbearable,
Horrible crosscut saw.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis, better known as C. J. Dennis, was an Australian poet known for his humorous poems, especially "The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke", published in the early 20th century. Though Dennis's work is less well known today, his 1915 publication of The Sentimental Bloke sold 65,000 copies in its first year, and by 1917 he was the most prosperous poet in Australian history. Together with Banjo Paterson and Henry Lawson, both of whom he had collaborated with, he is often considered among Australia's three most famous poets. While attributed to Lawson by 1911, Dennis later claimed he himself was the 'laureate of the larrikin'. When he died at the age of 61, the Prime Minister of Australia Joseph Lyons suggested he was destined to be remembered as the 'Australian Robert Burns'. more…

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    "March Flies" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 21 Sep. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/6447/march-flies>.

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