One of the great joys of Fire Island is the annual migration of the Monarchs. These two came through in ’96, when they were plentiful and you might see dozens on a single bush. Last year we didn’t even see a dozen all year. The mighty Monarchs need all the help we can give them.

It’s been a really long, cold winter in New York City, and I gather in many other parts of the country, so you’re probably just as delighted as we are to see some glimmers of springlike sunshine, and maybe a crocus or two popping up through the snow. And, in the spirit of the changing seasons, here’s one of my personal favorites that I wrote in the 80s:


1. Larva

Chomp chomp chomp chomp
Chomp chomp chomp, burp
Adjust legs
Glide ahead…
Chomp chomp chomp chomp
Chomp chomp chomp, burp
Adjust legs
BLEnd in,
Blend in,
Danger passed
Adjust legs
Glide ahead…
Chomp chomp chomp chomp
Chomp chomp chomp, burp
A thousand eyes,
A thousand sights,
In every millisecond.
Adjust legs
Glide ahead…
Chomp chomp chomp chomp
Chomp chomp chomp

2. Chrysalis

Ooooooooh, I’m sooooooo full…
My senses dull
Must be a lull in my metaaaaaabolism….
Very sleepy, yes.
And, OH!, what’s that?
Now seeping from my hinny?
Must go ‘round,
And ‘round again,
And ‘round and ‘round and ‘round and ‘round
Till I’m surrounded…

That’s better.
How convenient this
completely unexpected
little sleeping bag.
I think I’ll just
Suspend myself right here.
Oh, yes…
And sleep…
Deep, deep sleep…
So fulll…
So dulllllll…
So sleeeeeepyyyyyyyzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

3. Imago

Goodness, me,
How long have I hung?
How long have I slept here?
And, what’s going on here?
I feel odd.
I feel hungry, but, no,
Not quite hungry.
Something, uh, I don’t know
something different;
Eating a leaf is a sickening thought.
To glide on the air…
Do what did I say?
To glide on the air
That’s the thing! To FLY!
But who ever heard of a worm who could fly?
Oh! My stars!
Would you look!
I’ve got wings!
Really, wings!
I grew glorious gossamer wings in my sleep!
In my dreams
I fluttered
From flower to flower…
Danced in the sunshine and
What’s serve?
I’m sure I don’t know what that means.
But, no matter, my dear
The urge is sincere
The leading is clear
The time is here
Must fight the fear…



© 2018 by George Thomas Wilson. All rights reserved.

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