Sonnet on the Butterfly Gardens

by Catherine Owen

Of course I’m going to write about the butterflies;
Those perfect metaphors for us.
Tasting the fruit-world with their feet: its curves
& moons & rings quickly rotting under humid glass.
So many rare colours but not knowing it, and the time
They wait, ensconced in leaf-cocoons, much
Longer than the days they fly, mating avidly,
Scattering their tiny white eggs on immense jungle plants.
Their beauty, never wasted, but neither
Can it last, or at least this is what we tell
Ourselves, having faced the lions & wildebeests of hurt
With no real weapons of defence, but the illusion of an owl-
Eye here, the vague resemblance
To a wolf’s head.

— from Juniper Volume 1, Issue 3