Autumn is full of butterflies. Or so it seems to me.
Sometimes, as in the picture at the top of the post, it is only the visual echo of a butterfly. Sometimes, as in this fragment, it’s a memory of summer:
From among the fallen leaves, the wind
lifts a broken butterfly wing
and gives it flight.
Sometimes, though, the butterfly is as real and as vivid as ever. And occasionally it will even settle for long enough to be photographed:
I don’t have many poems with butterflies in them; instead, this poem follows on with the sea-faring theme prompted by the red admiral above:
Three sheets to the wind
From the high seas of the city,
in the wee small hours he’s washed,
jetsam on a spring-tide,
home to the suburbs.
Down below, she hears him navigate
the heave and swell; his waves of anger break
on coffee-table rocks. He gybes and yaws,
keels into the telly, pitches, veers about and almost
runs aground against the bookcase.
He climbs the rigging stairs, the banister
a rope between his hands.
On unfamiliar landlegs he tacks
the length of passageway, battling a head wind
that blows for him alone.
At last he finds the opening in the reef;
he founders, lists to port, then beaches, belly up,
She listens to the ebb and flow
of breath and wonders what to do
with her drunken sailor.