Butterfly Wounding by Sara Wright

Bittersweet orange

invokes wounding

past torment endured

at the hands of those

who would harm.

Air is lightened,

cleansed by absence

Trees rejoice

Slaughter shifts perspective

 Despair presses Diamond.

Fritillary seeks

 her flower

lover in waiting

Tongue seeking.

The two, Butterfly

and Weed lay eggs

 One will be dead in weeks

Blazing blooms live on

Seeds of the Future

held firm by roots

an abundance of nourishment

Gifted from below.


Every summer I wait for the Great Spangled Fritillary.. first the painted ladies come, admirals follow and then the swallowtails. This year viceroys made an appearance and of course, as the insect icon everyone has eyes on, monarchs will be arriving shortly, although in how many numbers we don’t know. Saving one species without saving the forests and meadows won’t work, but most don’t recognize this truth. We seem stuck in the think globally act locally meme, so outdated now. Acting globally means saving the forests streams and meadows that we destroy every single day so any species can survive…

Meanwhile I’ll take the fritillaries that roam through the forest as I do. In our own ways we both seek out sweet nectar from wildflower meadows, water from streams, protection from trees….

Finally arriving here when butterfly weed blooms I am enthralled and can spend hours watching these butterflies drinking their fill and wondering what they may be saying to one another as they gather in communion sharing precious food….

A Meditation on Life.

I am also struck by butterflies arriving as a favorite summer insect, particularly those monarchs who now adorn wall paintings as they once were scratched on the walls of prisons no child would survive.

A holocaust is occurring as I write – Too many species are disappearing before we even know they exist. Beneficial insects have vanished throughout the world at an alarming rate; one third of the root of our food chain is gone… (conservative estimate)

 Insects, animals, trees, the rest of nature, and women….our rights to exist are at risk. Is  annihilation the goal?

When I engage with the fritillaries I sense the fragility of all life, feel my own losses keenly, mourn the women who betray and are betrayed, while praying for those I love to get what they need.

Death of one kind or the other seems to be on the horizon everywhere.

But the fritillaries gathering “at the well” also show me how to live.

BIO: Sara is a naturalist, ethologist (a person who studies animals in their natural habitats) (former) Jungian Pattern Analyst, and a writer. She publishes her work regularly in a number of different venues and is presently living in Maine.

Categories: Nature, Poetry

Tags: , ,

10 replies

  1. Brava! Let’s take good care of butterflies and bees and other pollinators. I have a good friend who is an expert on monarch butterflies. She has a butterfly garden at her house with plants the monarchs prefer and she often has caterpillars perched around that garden. This week she’s giving a talk to a neighborhood organization here in Long Beach about creating a civic monarch garden. I bet you and she would have a long, interesting conversation. Bright blessings to all your work with nature and our winged cousins.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Around here I am finding more Monarch caterpillars than ever before and I too am participating in the local monarch festival….I have two chrysalis that I found – very exciting when one is hunting in the local milkweed patch…. but I am also baffled – why so many in one year – it’s way too soon to make a prediction about what this means but I am fascinated….and you bet I wold enjoy talking to your friend. Thanks Barbara


  2. Ah, Sara, the heartbreaking truths you often write about always humble me and bring me to a state of awareness that I think we all desperately need. Milkweed, also such a medicine.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Too many species are disappearing before we even know they exist.” This is so true. I am so amazed when I read about what the world was like before humans began to destroy species — how the skies would go dark as a gigantic flock of birds would go by or hundreds of thousands of animals would thunder through a landscape in a herd. If our ancestors came into our future I think they would be stunned and heartbroken at how barren our planet is compared to Earth when they lived on it. I truly believe that humans are mourning our loss, perhaps experiencing some ancestral memory they are not even aware of, but not realizing that is what is causing such grief. truly, the only way to heal ourselves is to heal the planet and for that we need to all come together in one mission for the Earth’s well being. Thank you, as always, for this honest and enlightening post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. heal the planet and we shall heal ourselves… it’s so simple really – but we don’t get it.


    • We seem to be in a vicious downward cycle of being so disconnected from nature which allows our species to inflict harm and the more we destroy our Earth the more disconnected we become which allows for further rationalization and destruction of her body, her blood her life. The Patriarchy’s response – go to outer space or live in the metaverse- Ugh

      I have seen very few butterflies this year – only a couple of Swallowtails have appeared – which was an exciting event. The Monarch is now classified as endangered but unfortunately that designation does not offer protection. Monarch’s are federally protected in Mexico but not in the U.S. or Canada. Why am I not surprised!! https://www.popsci.com/environment/monarch-butterflies-endangered/

      Thanks for your beautiful words on Butterfly.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Unbelievable really when we have already lost a third of all insects…. The capitalistic US won’t protect these insects anymore than they will remove pesticides that kill insects and people… with people it just takes longer to die.
        What a country we live in – the word backward isn’t strong enough…


  5. In general – I only got on this site through a comment – these days – wordpress tells me that I don’t exist – obviously not to them – I just want folks to know that if they don’t see me responding it’s because I can’t get from me to you. A primary support system.


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