Saturday, August 16, 2008

Monarch Poem and Larva Pre Chrysalis Pic




(Poem below.) Two days ago I had five large caterpillars on the milkweed; now I have none. Yesterday morning I caught two getting ready to leave the garden proper and hit the lawn, but thinking that was nothing short of a suicide run, I placed one on a butterfly bush and the other on a sumac. Mr. Sumac Caterpillar is gone (perfect place for it, too!), but Mr. B-Fly Bush Caterpillar found his way on to the deck railing and over to the morning glories hanging there. He is in "J" position on a large leaf, as you can see, and I'm relieved I'll get to watch at least one monarch change over the course of the next 10-14 days, and I'm relieved it's outside--I'd comtemplated placing one in an old aquarium, but something felt wrong with that. FYI--monarch caterpillars are fast, even on mulch. (UPDATE FOR MYSELF: 2 of 3 black swallowtail larva are gone--why, oh why did you leave me? Was it something I fenneled?)

I do still have many larva on three milkweeds, so maybe I'll get more chances, plus lots of female monarchs flittering about. More pics to come as the weeks evolve. But in the meantime, here is a very sexy monarch poem by Sharon Olds:

Monarchs

All morning, as I sit thinking of you,
the Monarchs are passing. Seven stories up,
to the left of the river, they are making their way
south, their wings the dark red of
your hands like butchers' hands, the raised
veins of their wings like your scars.
I could scarcely feel your massive rough
palms on me, your touch was so light,
the delicate chapped scrape of an insect's leg
across my breast. No one had ever
touched me before. I didn't know enough to
open my legs, but felt your thighs,
feathered with red-gold hairs,
opening
between my legs like a pair of wings.
The hinged part of my blood on your thigh--
a winged creature pinned there--
and then you left, as you were to leave
over and over, the butterflies moving
in masses past my window, floating
south to their transformation, crossing over
borders in the night, the diffuse blood-red
cloud of them, my body under yours,
the beauty and silence of the great migrations.


4 comments:

themanicgardener said...

WOW, Benjamin. That's an incredible poem.

--Kate

Blackswamp_Girl said...

....

Philip Bewley said...

Thank you for sharing your poetry.
I loved this.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Kate--I thought it might be too risque, but it is gorgeous!
Kim-- ......
Philip--Oh, not mine! I wish! I don't share much of my own here, but much can be found on the net.