Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Butterfly Bush

I have discovered
Like a child right now
Why it is called
Butterfly Bush,
This soft flick of midnight
On arching lilac flowers,
This quick flit of magic
On heavy, dusky stems.
And this is why
Like a child right now,
I  am glad to be alive
And of this world--
This powdered brush of gleaming joy,
This fleeting rush of angels breathing.


  1. blessed are those who can perceive the world with a child's eye.
    i guess there are courses for adults to return to this peaceful state of mind...

  2. "This soft flick of midnight
    On arching lilac flowers"... is such an arresting, sensual image. I like this a lot, Karen.

  3. Indeed, why grow up!
    "This powdered brush of gleaming joy" is so reflects a child's innocence and turns every soul happy,contended when it touches it :)
    Serene...yet so tumultuous...

  4. Another one of nature's beauties - and what a beauty!
    We can discover magic if we see through the innocent eyes of a child.

  5. The first half of the poem is good, but the second half is exemplary. It clin ches it for me. Congrats.

  6. Karen, you always thrill my soul. This poem makes me want to hug you, and I knew there was a reason why I feel so drawn to your work. Actually, there are many reasons, but I really appreciate a poet (or anyone) who can feel the joy and beauty of the world. If only more adults would take the time to look at the world in a childlike way!

    On a side note, I recently had to explain to a friend that it was a compliment when another friend said I am childlike. Or maybe I'm just too dumb (or childish) to be offended...haha!

    But I get where you're coming from, sister. This poem is an opening of the senses and an appreciation of beauty. Oh, how I love:

    "This soft flick of midnight
    On arching lilac flowers..."

    I also love those last two lines. What they say and the sound of the words is fantastic. It's a lovely roll in the mouth. But the line length makes me pause and reflect on the beauty with the narrator.

  7. Listen to these lines:
    "This powdered brush of gleaming joy,
    This fleeting rush of angels breathing."
    Lordy, Lordy. "This fleeting rush" is so vivid, and the image of angels breathing is priceless. I like the internal rhyme too.
    You gave me a thrill, capturing the moment when a butterfly alights on the bush, delighting the soul. I have a similar photograph of a swallowtail on the dark purple bush in my back yard. So your emotion resonates with me entirely!!!

  8. this is one of those tiny treasures of a poem i want to fold up and keep in a little box.

    there is a purity to it that sings - an epiphany - all your own but soaring. i love how words like "flick" and "flit" and "fleeting" echo the butterfly wings, and the weight and fullness you give to the flowers. like that childlike wonder that seems even better when you're old enough to recognize it. and the repetition of "like a child right now" completes the feeling of joy, the "fleeting rush" - and it's contageous. :)

  9. SzelsoFa - The only course I know is the one you find out of doors. Immersion. :-)

    Sandra - Thanks. The blooms are heady, but it didn't occur to me that the words were sensual. That's a wonderful thing about poetry -- it is what the reader believes it is.

    Erratic Thoughts - Welcome and thank you for your very nice and thoughtful comments.

    Margaret - I think we do have to become childlike to remember to experience the wonder of this beautiful world.

    Dave - Thank you. Your opinions mean a great deal to me.

    Julie - I think we are soul sisters truly (although I could be your much, much older sister)! I am always drawn to your work for the eye you open to the people and situations in your world.

    I always appreciate, too, your attention to the craft. You know that poetry is not just the words but as Coleridge said, "Prose is words in their best order; Poetry is the best words in their best order." The best words in the best order -- that's what we both strive for, and I thank you for your acknowledgment of that.

    Chris - Just saying, "Listen to these lines" about my work sets my heart on fire. You don't know how that encourages and validates me. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    joaquin - When I began to post poetry here, I did not dream that I would find such loyal and precious friends. Your comments make me know that this is a mutual society, one that I am privileged to find myself a part of. Thank you for your support and validation. Mutual. Believe me!

    Chinese letter person - I wish I had a clue.

  10. beautiful, we used to have one of those bushes at the bus stop for our school bus, hours of entertainment

  11. 'This fleeting rush of angels breathing.'

    Gorgeous, and feck knows we need them to keep breathing.

  12. I love the contrast between heavy and soft, dark and light, tangible and metaphysical.
    You have a delicate balance in your writing...

  13. it is moments like this, when I read a piece telling me of moments like that in which I know there is still sanity in a world gone mad. Nice work Karen.

  14. lovely poem, Karen.
    if flowers make you child like, I pray for a flood of such joy. ~rick

  15. This one has my heart fluttering on powdered wings, Karen.

    Pure magic. Made more precious with the knowledge of its ephemeral flit and flight.

    Those last two lines are just perfect. Gorgeous and perfect.