Prelude to Silence

Prelude to Silence

In the silence of a butterfly’s wings
passing on its final flight,
I listen to a falling leaf, no quiet
as full as its rustle among its fellows
that lie in wait for a new season,
and another, prelude to the return
of the silence of butterfly wings.

This poem is in response to earthweal weekly challenge: A BIODIVERSE POETRY, where Brendan asks, “What is the sound of life that is complex, intermingling, evolving and sustaining?”

Mighty Big Boy ~ video poem


Mighty Big Boy

Comin’ down the tracks,
ground beneath me shakes.
Rollin’ right along,
steam left in its wake.

Take it ’round one more time,
one more time, one more time.
Take it ’round one more time,
one more time, one more time.

Wheels keep on turnin’,
giant pistons pound.
Six thousand horses
pawin’ at the ground.

Take it ’round one more time,
one more time, one more time.
Take it ’round one more time,
one more time, one more time.

Massive behemoth,
here for all to see,
rollin’ cross-country.
Piece of history.

Take it ’round one more time,
one more time, one more time.
Take it ’round one more time,
one more time, one more time.

Put out to pasture,
glory days long gone.
Still a stirring sight
worthy of a song.

Take it ’round one more time,
one more time, one more time.
Take it ’round one more time,
one more time, one more time.

This poem is my response to Poetics: Oral Poetry, the prompt from Ingrid at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which asks us to begin without putting pen to paper – “say the words in your head, or repeat them out loud, trying “to complete the poem as far as possible without writing it down. Think about the devices discussed above: regular rhythms, repeated phrases or ‘motifs’, alliteration and rhyme schemes – anything to aid the memory and help the words to flow.”

I went out on Tuesday to see a steam locomotive, “Big Boy 4014.” Union Pacific purchased 25 “Big Boy “ locomotives in the 1940s. Eight still exist, and this engine is the only one that is operational and not in a museum. 4014 was retired in 1959 and was converted from coal to oil when its restoration was completed in 2019. The engine produces 6200 horsepower at 41 mph. With its tender, it is 132 feet in length and is the largest operating locomotive in the world. It came through my town, yesterday and today, and it will complete its tour by returning to its home in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

I started composing this as I edited the photos I took this morning, pausing to type each stanza as I progressed.

If you have the time, check out my poem A Giraffe Lullaby, posted 25 Sept 2019. I think it actually fits this prompt.

Butterfly Kisses ~ acrostic plus

Butterfly Kisses

Beauty on the wing
under a hot August sun
takes the mind on flights of fancy.
Twists and turns, taken
easily on the lightest breeze,
round and round in loops and swoops,
free of restraint, free of complaint,
leaving wispy traces of airborne color,
yellow, orange, and blue.

Who could it be, you might ask.
Certainly not you, nor I.
Colorful antics such as this,
that bring us thoughts of carefree bliss
on these hot days of summertime,
belong to lovely butterflies.

This poem, is my response to Poetics: For the love of puzzles…, the prompt from Lillian at dVerse ~ Poets Pub. Similar to an acrostic poem, in which the first letter of each line, when read from top to bottom, spells out a name, a word, or a message, in the Acrostic Plus, created by Lillian Hallberg, the first letter of each line in the first stanza, when read from top to bottom, spells out a message or word(s) and in the second stanza, the last letter of each line when read from top to bottom, spells out the rest of the message or additional word(s).

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Fleeting Memories ~ ekphrastic poem

Fleeting Memories

Tiny currents brush the edges of my mind.
Random details, trivial and not-so-
minor, flutter, teasing my thoughts.
Never clear in their intent. Prodding me
to remember, or struggling
to break the tethers imposed
by those details, always out of reach?

This is my response to Reena’s Exploration Challenge #113,
which offers a variety of images for inspiration.

Image source: / Anthony

oasis of green ~ troiku

The prompt for Carpe Diem #1690 Troiku Month – butterfly is to write a haiku
about butterflies (
in blue) to be used to create a troiku.

oasis of green
butterflies inside glass house
aerial antics


oasis of green
providing year-round delight
with elegant flight

butterflies inside glass house
graced with exotic colors
bright tropical plants

aerial antics
Lepidoptera ballet
on delicate wings

A troiku is three haiku, with each of the three lines from a suggested haiku as the first line of each haiku in the troiku. It’s not always possible to have a 5-7-5 format in the second haiku, due to the limitations of the suggested haiku. The name of the form is derived from “troika,” a sled or carriage drawn by three horses harnessed side-by-side, an iconic symbol of Imperial Russia.


Butterfly photo taken at St. Louis Butterfly House
and edited with Prisma (click for larger view in new tab)
Wikimedia Commons (troika)

Butterfly Ballet ~ haibun

Butterfly Ballet

What to do on a special day, when clouds and rain try to make it anything but special? And so, a drive to St. Louis, the rain no more of an annoyance than those who don’t know how to drive in it, and an afternoon spent indoors among some of nature’s most beautiful creatures. Butterflies crossing our path with their dance, lending an air of magic to our anniversary.

oasis of green
outdoors, inside house of glass
butterfly ballet

For the prompt at dVerse, Merril asks us to write a haibun about magic in nature with
Haibun Monday – Lost and Found: Nature’s Magic.

Images: The St. Louis Butterfly House

while dancing on air ~ haiku

momentary pause
between silent beat of wings
butterfly alights

while dancing on air
paired beating of wings and hearts
butterfly finds mate

The challenge for Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #75 Poetry Archive (2) is to write a new haiku inspired by one from our own archive. The first haiku here (in blue) was written in response to Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #25 Use That Quote and was inspired by this quote by Rabindranath Tagore:

“The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.”

My daughter is getting married later this year. The image above is a Photoshopped version of the photo used with the first haiku, which was taken by my daughter at the Butterfly House of the St. Louis Botanical Gardens in 2015, when she was visiting for my birthday. Here is the original. (click both images for larger view)