The Butterfly
By g.l. bass (the ghostbear)

For my beloved Heidi

( my most beautiful butterfly)

November 2006



Last night

Northern winds

In packs of gusts,

Blustered through the woods,

Across the marsh,

Swept around the farms,

Followed the county roads

And stormed into town

Spitting beads of ice

And spreading thin frost down.


Down out of the hills

Coyotes sing in chorus

The song of winter's coming.

Standing on the porch

I listen and look to the west,

Trying to read the melody

And meaning of their song.

I catch beads of frozen ice,

Against my face.

I sense the moving of low clouds,

Even in midnight's realm.

The tall pine catches wind

Gusts hushing each

Through its boughs,

Then releasing each one

Out into the night.


The next morning,

Out the back door,

Through the Aspens,

Past the oaks,

Up the cone,

I am determined to know

The extent of the wind's

War against the night.

My breath plumes

Against morning sky,

The sun breaks

Out of the horizon

Revealing layers of auburn, blues,

And reds.








Deep prairie grass,

Now in grays, browns, and bronze

Seems ablaze in glistening


I mark my way slowly,

Less I disturb

Nature's artwork

Painted across the land

In strong, deep wind brush strokes.

She's left a shining

Canvas sparkling

Amidst the rising sun.




Delicately balanced

On wild Chrysanthemum,

Its daisy like petals

Stiff and cold,

A yellow Monarch Butterfly,

Perched still,

Placed so gently,

More perfect than any artist hand

Could paint, carve, or



Remains frozen

Atop the flower's delicate

Brown eye.

I am perplexed,


And caught in questions

Of my beliefs.

How could nature

Have made such a fatal


I kneel down,

And I wonder.

I cannot touch,

Nor breathe upon

My discovery,

Afraid I might break

The wonder I see

Where it has been placed

So delicately.


A puzzle given to me,

I sit amongst the tall grass,

Watching the sun light

Pour down from cold skies,

How did such a butterfly

Remain so long and far behind?

How did this beauty

Miss the coming of winter's




I pick the flower at its stem,


Without touching the


I place it softly,


Inside a tall jar,

Carrying it carefully down

The hill,

Through the wood,

And home again.

I place it open,

On my fireplace mantle,

Wondering what will

Happen whence

It is given warmth again.

I leave the Butterfly

On its flower petals,

And return to the wood,

A store of chores

To which I must attend.


Hours later,

When I return home again,

I look to see what the

Story might be of the Butterfly

And the flower.

To my amaze,

The Butterfly is gone.

I search the floor,

The mantel,

The shelves below,

For the life of me,

I cannot find,

Where surely the Butterfly

Had to fall.

Then, looking up,

I see a wonder,

Beyond me,

On the ceiling,

Wings waving softly

Back and forth,

The Butterfly

Has awakened again.


I fall back into

My wide red chair,

Watch the Buttefly

As it flies around

Amidst the warm

Inside air.

Perching here then there,

It is a wonder,

It has risen again.


As the day warms,

The sun pours,

And opens southern doors,

Whence warm gentle wind,

Brings forth again

A day of fall,

An afterthought of summer,

And the afternoon

Turns frost to dripping eves,

Ice to water

Runs down sidewalks,

Out into streets.

I open my front door,

Push open the screen,

And wait to see,

If the Butterfly,

Out of its frozen sleep,

Will find its way into the sun again.

Then, to my surprise,

With the first gentle warm wind

Through the door,

Rushed through the house,

The butterfly catches the soft drift,

And floats softly out the door,

Up in the draft,

And disappears,

Into the late afternoon sun,

Now pouring warmth

Out of western skies.


How amazed am I,

By this Butterfly.

Surely it was frozen

And had died.


So beautiful,

I could not resist

Taking to heart

Such work of art.

Only to be amazed to find,

It was just frozen in sleep,

Waiting for the sun to rise.


I am once again surprised,

At the strength,

Of one so fragile,

So delicate,

So beautiful,

In its yellow adorn,

I thought dead,

But rather,

Just sleeping

Through the storm.







Once again,

I learn by surprise,

A lesson I shall

Carry with me,

A lesson of beauty.

How one of such delicate

And fragile being,

Really has strength,


And magic

Beyond my seeing.

Off into southern skies

The Butterfly flies

And I remain,

A witness to the difference

Between God, nature and man,

What is truth,

And what it is

I so humbly understand.