alice-2
If I Were a Butterfly
by Lynn White

If I were a butterfly
where would I fly?
I could grace every home
bringing good luck every time.
Make sure that my children
ate up all the weeds,
and recycled the waste
without judgement or hate.
In a world that’s at peace
I’d find my place.
Hmm, if I were a butterfly
I’d think this must wait.

If I were a butterfly
where would I fly?
If my soul were parochial
it would hang in my space,
It would look pretty in my garden,
propagate where I said,
and keep watch with indulgence
as my kids ate the rest.
If I were a butterfly
I’d think this was sad.
A life is too short
to live in the past.

If I were a butterfly
where would I fly?
Like all souls of dead warriors
for justice and peace,
I’d fly
down the throats of the haters,
war mongers, arms traders,
parasitic self-servers.
Yes.
They’d choke on my body
and ingest my eggs.
My children would eat them,
feast on them, thrive
then fly on to the next.
Yes.
If I were a butterfly
that’s where I’d fly.

If I were a butterfly
then where would I fly?
I would grace every home
bringing good luck every time.
I would make sure that my children
ate up all the weeds,
and recycled the waste
without judgement or hate.
In a world that’s at peace
I’d find my place.

SOURCE: First published in Anti Heroin Chic, 2016.

IMAGE: “Alice and the butterflies” by PRRINT. Prints available at etsy.com.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: A couple of years ago, a friend persuaded me to go with him to an exhibition of Mayan art and culture at Liverpool Museum. A number of artifacts related to the Mayan belief that dead warriors were re-incarnated as butterflies. I found this a fascinating concept and it has inspired several poems. This is the most recent.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places, and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy, and reality. Her poem “A Rose For Gaza” was shortlisted for the Theatre Cloud “War Poetry for Today” competition 2014. This and many other poems have been published in recent anthologies, including Stacey Savage’s We Are Poetry: An Anthology of Love Poems, Community Arts Ink’s Reclaiming Our Voices, Vagabond Press’s The Border Crossed Us, Civilised Beasts and Vagabonds: Anthology of the Mad Ones from Weasel Press, Alice in Wonderland Anthology from Silver Birch Press, and man other rather excellent online and print journals. Visit her on facebook and at lynnwhitepoetry.blogspot.com.

PHOTO: The author in 2015 removing slime from her garden pond.