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author’s note:

I’ve been both butterfly and moth.  But mostly moth, I’d say.

No matter—they both have wings.
 

THE WORKMAN AND THE MOTH

In the hollow
of my wooden head
lives a lively moth
too quickly excited
by whatever shooting spark—

thus, it kills the flame it fans—
producing but a puff of hot wind.

So the popular theory
about the potential effects
of a butterfly’s wings
would seem to be in error…

my flapping has never created
a cleansing fiery hurricane
in distant capitols or battlefields.

However, this loud smallness
does irritate enough to awaken
something buried under
the dull ashes—

this something rises to action—
determined to quell the fluttering—
this something quells the fluttering
simply by rising…

this workman smolders—
having built a deep fire within—

this workman, once summoned
then continues his forging
in full light

as the lovely moth rests
within the halo of the lamp.

© 2011, Michael R. Patton
searching for the new mythology

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