Butterflies Live Here
Migratory swifts feed high above the flower insects, their
Arrows of head-point and their body-barbs unzipping
The smear of gnats off the evening sky
Thistledown blows its false fairies high and low here
Across in truth are these, enemies seedy tares ready
To be sown in again as I weed.
Yet I am alone here, desolate of human company
And this means that tho’ I am a patched rag of a self
In bad dress. I serve, give as I can.
So even thistle seedlings do make salad sprouts
When picked young enough in the green, an unprejudiced
Unbudgeted sustenance, a bread not alone.
I blunder, but no weasel word rules here, the mission verse
Is not got up by spin or marketeers, nor does this
Place come about by ideology, or force.
Here a bounty of vegetables and flowers thrives
As the canny nurture of productive land becomes gift
And a heart’s careful grasp on love and sanity.
Four wings drink at sprinklers of my watered garden.
And the unwatered butterfly bush is covered with them;
Varieties hatched of a cloneless metamorphosis.
Butterflies live here(1) - the native Browns come
To the purple nectar of the buddleia tree flowers like
Moths to the honey of the sunlight
Wayne David Knoll, Mortlake, Vic. 17 February 2013
(1) NOTE: 1. “Only I never saw another butterfly. Butterflies don’t live here, in the ghetto.” —Pavel Friedmann. -
2. At Terezin chidren’s Concentration camp, Ann Kortova writes: ‘Of course, there were other animals there – mainly lice, bedbugs and fleas... But I did not see a single butterfly in Terezin during the three years I spent there. - There were 98 of us – 98 Czech children out of 15000 - who returned.