October 7, 2014

Butterflies Return by Rick Hartwell

Outside to catch a mental breath, salt air,
embraced within sand dunes of summer;
soaring masts of eucalyptus edge the bay,
murky waters tinged blue by reflected sky.

Monarchs decorate the brown needle mattress,
under the pine trees, sloping down to the sea;
an exhausting flight from the heart of Mexico,
veins of gold now match California poppies,

Many of their fellow travelers still commune
drunkenly within the tree heights, imbibing
sips of sunlight and sap until dropping to the
ground, sated, joining the others in prayer.

Orange and black wings folding up, down,
pulsing celebration, eventual sober exercise.
It's a small grove, but famous for all that,
advertised far by the Pacific Grove C of C.

The Chamber couldn't resist the money
to be made in the rhythm of nature and
Monterey Bay becomes turbulent in the
late afternoon of poppies and butterflies.

Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school (remember the hormonally-challenged?) English teacher living in Moreno Valley, California. He believes in the succinct, that the small becomes large; and, like the Transcendentalists and William Blake, that the instant contains eternity. Given his “druthers,” if he’s not writing, Rick would rather be still tailing plywood in a mill in Oregon. He can be reached at rdhartwell@gmail.com.

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