Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Monarchs [poetry Thursdays]

This is the only monarch butterfly post card I've made. Now a poem -- by moi.
In September I saw the monarchs
gorging on nectar of roses
fueling to leave for Mexico.
They do not know they will die
I wrote
they only know the will to fly.
In February I saw the monarchs
dead by the million
in sudden cold in their mountain retreat.
The species is not in danger
wrote the journalist
the monarchs will survive.
We humans are not endangered either
though we died by tens of millions
in the 20th century
and have started the 21st
with the same will to kill.

This is a follow up poem after I wrote about seeing the monarchs on the tenth day, a vision of hope, in my long, painful poem after 9/11, "Ten Days in September". The monarchs and the horror of the WTC will always be connected in my thoughts.
Yesterday the NY Times science section had a long article on this year's migration of monarchs from Canada to Mexico, what is known about this miracle of migration and what is unknown, and the dangers they will face in drought areas, in storms. Mention was made of the plan to have individuals plant milkweeds in gardens and empty lots since the monarchs feed on them and milkweeds are being eliminated by big agriculture in it's herbicidal mass killings of local flora. I am awed by how these tiny creatures make a journey few humans could make on foot even with our well learned survival techniques and available shelter. Actually the article said that, at least on the spring journey from Mexico to Canada, the migration sometimes spans there generations, with stops at various points to lay eggs and then grow to migration ability. It didn't say if that happens on the north to south trip.
I have begun making the monarchs that will go on the envisioned show quilt which will be called "Monarch Migration" ... The survival of this idea and it's successful implementation remains, at this point, as chancy and dubious as an individual monarch's probable success of reaching that winter resting place.

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