Phoenix Butterfly - Poem by Ronald Peat
In ignited flames—
death arises from its lost ashes.
Maybe all butterflies are from the phoenix.
Transformed from crawling caterpillar
and silent cocoon to become
the winged angel. Yet death always has
the last word. And the butterfly, a fragile
and brittle exoskeleton lies in that spider’s
silken net —a dusty and torn cobweb
in the barn’s dim corner.
I remembered all this about my childhood
the other day. I was five— living
with my grand-parents on their dairy.
It was during World War II. I must have
fingered it’s stiff wing, for I remember
the butterfly being brittle to the touch.
And the dusty web rippled within a soft breath
for it was torn at one edge. This memory’s
fire came on me from the ashes
of my youth. It arose like a phoenix.
A slow wave’s undulation calls out to me —
a sad and innocent ghost from the past.
© RH Peat 8/3/2010 11: 38pm
form.4 stanzas./ 22 lines
intent: memory as epiphany. reborn resurrection
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