monarch butterfly

photo link

Monarch Queen,

I discovered you yesterday afternoon,

motionless, along the roadside.

Using a stick, I hoped you would

cling to it, so you could be transported

to safer ground. 

It felt as if you did,

although weakly,

and so I gingerly lifted you

onto the plastic bag holding the new phone book.

Knowing where there were milkweed out back,

I stepped through the tall grass

and blackberry thorns to deliver you.

I slipped your still inert body onto a leaf

and walked over to the water. 

A slight breeze rippled the surface

as a heavy life form leapt in,

causing mini-waves.

I turned to look at you again before walking

back to the house.

Alas, you’d been blown from the leaf

and were laying upside down on the grass.

At first it looked like your torso was gone.

I flipped you over to dispel the vision.

One of your antennae were missing.

You were light as a feather.

Why didn’t I feel your diaphanosity before?

Sympathy washed over me.

What far land had you traveled from

only to be snuffed by a motored beast

as you neared your prize?

The Daily Post — Prompt: Sympathy


16 Comments Add yours

  1. Stumbled upon you post because I just published one on Tao and butterflies… so I stopped to say hi. Hi.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Maybe your butterfly is the one in the dream of my post 🙂


        1. msjadeli says:

          Anything is possible. Maybe it was just a dream?


          1. Dreams and reality shouldn’t be aware of each other. Posting on each other’s helm? We are flying over dangerous territory.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. msjadeli says:

              Agreed. Don’t you think Master Zhuang was trying to say the problem lies in figuring out which is which?


              1. I was reading a recent translator saying some of the nuances get lost on the translation to English and the original point there being the need to keep a separation to keep things full, like life and death. But honestly I’m just replicating someone else’s opinion that made sense. Too much of a rookie to be able to discuss in such depth

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Either way, discussing that level of nuances may be the same of trying to figure out which is which, throwing us into a circular, self referential argument that keep us lost forever 🙂

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. msjadeli says:

                    I think maybe what Master Zhuang was getting at, Mighty Tigress 🙂

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. It’s not the paradox that gets you lost, it’s looking so hard that you can’t help but trying to hard to decipher it and missing the chance to be a full man or butterfly?

                      Liked by 1 person

                2. msjadeli says:

                  As to translation, there are several excellent ones out there. If you want to get to what might be closer in interpretation, go to a native Chinese speaker who has translated to English. Find, “The Butterfly as Companion: Meditations on the first three chapters of the Chuang Tzu”, by Kuang-Ming Wu.

                  Liked by 1 person

  2. Killing the flow here just a little: Do you think the way my characters interpreted and retold the story is wrong?


    1. msjadeli says:

      Your guess is as good as mine. If a master is trying to teach a student, it is possible the master would be pushing their way as the best way. But as a student gets to a certain point, they are ideally supposed to surpass the master if the master taught them properly. Your student “flips the script” on the master in your story. Perhaps your story is the next chapter in the story? What do you think?


      1. That’s what it is indeed. The master telling her there must be some level of separation between forms and application, which she later learned to agree, but her main journey is her trying to surpass the master, eliminating all barriers. Ironically, as she achieves that, she reaches a level of skill and vision where it doesn’t matter anymore, and she really can’t show anyone cause nobody can see what she sees.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. msjadeli says:

      p.s. What I know about Master Chuang is that a big focus for him was looking at things from different perspectives and not wanting to be pinned down to an absolute. “This” and “that” are merely observances from the point of view of the observer.


      1. In this case when my Sifu says “both” seems right, but the discouragement to look at the other side is wrong? (Well the character is allowed to interpret that his own way, even if he’s wrong, right?

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.