Not About Butterflies

They warn you in workshops
not to write poems about butterflies.
It marks you as a sentimentalist
and a dilettante.
Yet, butterflies are so beautiful
it’s always a temptation
to poetize them.
Butterflies perceive so many more colors
than we, thus to appreciate
the beauty of flowers and each other.
Butterflies even have eyes
on their posteriors so as to admire
the magnificence of their coupling.
Butterflies make the earth orgasmic
with flowers. Seeing ultraviolet
fluorescences of nectar in the sweet
deepnesses of blossoms,
butterflies taste, with filamented feet,
the flowers’ precious pollen dust,
and so become literal love notes
from one flower to another.
Butterflies calligraphify the wind
with evanescent messages
of possibly ultimate meaning,
understood only by themselves and God.
Butterflies are so beautiful
sometimes we don’t even kill them,
despite their lack of economic value.
Ah! Such blatant sentimentality.
That’s why this poem
is not about butterflies.


poem by Michael Baldwin

Michael Baldwin, MLS, MPA, is a native of Fort Worth, TX. He won the Violet Newton Prize, 2000, the Eakin Award, 2011, for Scapes, and the Morris Chapbook Award, 2012, for Counting Backward From Infinity. Mr. Baldwin resides in Benbrook, TX. Visit his website: & Amazon author page: