Among Trees and Butterflies


Last time we took the map.
Circled spots were laid out clear:
Find fifteen gnomes, find Joy.
Only the maps mislead
Arrows pointing at him and at her
in a labyrinth of self-destruction

We tore the maps, and then, lo and behold
We found Joy.

Washed our morning faces
Under a singing Carolina silver bell,

And joy danced in my ear,
little one giggled
a warm fresh breath
And then jumped up and higher yet:
I’m so strong today! So strong!

We feasted on purple rain lilac sage tea
Sweetened with honey locust,
Tiger-tail spruce brushed our hair,
tickle of a feather under Robin’s wing

And the man said: Let’s run!
Taking off in his heavy work boots
Granddaughter’s soft fingers
Clinging to his chapped hand
Joy trailed wild in his silver hair

Midwinter fire
blood twig dogwood flamed
at the edge of the woods warming our feet.
I hugged the old shingle oak.

You know, I told her,
there are trees, which protect themselves
With the sap so poisonous
That caterpillars who munch its leaves
Stay caterpillars forever.

I know! I know! She chirped
Turning around, skipping,
flapping her wings in December rain:
I am! I am! I am already a butterfly!



About BeeHappee

Where have all the bees gone? Where have all the flowers gone?
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10 Responses to Among Trees and Butterflies

  1. Another wondrous evocation 🙂 –Paul

  2. gatheringplaceseasonfour says:

    smiling – I like the “so poisonous” sap – and I am. I had to look up Carolina silver bell – how do I get one (in Virginia, near D.C.)?

    • BeeHappee says:

      🙂 Carolina Silver Bell – Mountain silver bell – is so so so beautiful. This time of year, the seed pods were making music in the wind, sounding like Christmas bells, we stood under and shook the raindrops off of them. We are lucky to have it all here at Morton arboretum where we searched for Joy, they do sell some species they propagate. Maybe you have a local arboretum or specialty nursery there?

  3. blazeburgess says:

    This is what confuses me.

    You wrote a poem about being lost in a labyrinth of self-destruction and poisoned caterpillars.

    I read this poem and somehow feel joyous and elated by it.

    This is witchcraft, surely.

    Thank you for sharing it, as always.

  4. shoreacres says:

    Tearing up the maps can be a very good thing, indeed. Or, perhaps better, folding them carefully and tucking them away for future consultation — but only as needed. Most of the time, they aren’t needed.

    I’m not sure about the Carolina silver bell — not sure whether we have it, that is. But we do have a wonder called rattlebush, and small native gourds that rattle when they dry. So many sounds, and so many senses to feed.

  5. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says:

    I am, I am, I am already a butterfly! soooo cute! Love this!

    • BeeHappee says:

      Thank you, Mary. There is seriously a tree that prevents caterpillars turning into butterflies, but I do not know the name of it, if someone has more info, can you please share? 🙂

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