Thursday, June 13, 2019

Poetry Friday -- To the Caterpillar


Photo via Roads End Naturalist

To the Caterpillar

I spotted the yellow dot of your egg on the dill.
Cutting a sprig,
I brought you in.

Daily, your egg darkened as you grew.
What once was a dot
is now the tiny dash of you.

Your life obeys the rules of geometry:
line follows point,
wings bring symmetry.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2019



Summer life with Mary Lee means that the innocuous-looking centerpieces on the kitchen table -- one juice glass with sprigs of parsley in it and another with sprigs of dill -- are actually nurseries for three tiny black swallowtail caterpillars. I keep them close so I can monitor their progress...until their frass is visible on the table! I actually saw two of the three emerging from their eggs earlier this week. They are amazing. In only a couple of days, they have doubled in size, going from 2mm to 5mm! (Yes, MILLImeters. They are TEENY tiny little critters...for now.)

Laura Shovan has the Poetry Friday roundup this week. The roundup for July-December is filled, and I send apologies on behalf of Blogger if your comment didn't stick and you were assuming you had a spot. If you got shut out, contact me and we'll prioritize you for next time.


19 comments:

  1. I have a poem in Bayou Song titled "The Geometry of Crawfish." I love seeing geometry in your caterpillar poem, point, line, symmetry! Good luck with these swallowtails!

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  2. How beautiful. I love the rhyme...the symmetry....and that you had a baby butterfly on your dill plant.

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  3. Awesome! I loved learning about your nurseries for the caterpillars!

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  4. I love the geometry connection, Mary Lee, but also " tiny dash of you" & hearing about the center of your table. I saw my first swallowtail flitting about this morning!

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  5. I love all of this, your poem, the image–gorgeous pic with the remnants of the egg still there, and your nursery on your kitchen table!

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  6. I love your geometry of caterpillars poem, Mary Lee. How wonderful that you were able to witness their change and see them emerge.

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  7. How exciting to watch these tiny creatures grow. I love the lines What once was a dot/is now the tiny dash of you. I have goosebumps reading it.

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  8. I adore your math angle here, Mary Lee. A whole collection of poems with math (literally or metaphorically) would sure be lovely. Hint, hint.

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  9. A couple of years ago, we had black swallowtail caterpillars munching on our dill. You helped me identify them. Haven't seen any on our dill this year.

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  10. Love your poem, Mary Lee!! My favorite part: "tiny dash of you." I don't think I've ever seen swallowtail caterpillars in person -- you've aroused my curiosity. So cool that you're observing them.

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  11. Oh, I love this Mary Lee! I was already swooning over "What once was a dot/is now the tiny dash of you" when you came at me with that last stanza.

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  12. That dot and dash! Perfect image, Mary Lee. Good luck to your butterflies. We did the painted ladies kit years and years ago.

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  13. Gorgeous poem - and so YOU, Mary Lee! Of course you have a hidden caterpillar nursery on your dining room table. Thanks for sharing with us!!

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  14. Thank you for capturing the magic of life as it appeared in nature and then creating a poem to accompany it. How marvelous to see life evolve.

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    1. I took a screen shot of your poem if I create a summer gallery.

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  15. So beautiful. I reread it and reread it and love the elegance of it, just like math itself!

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  16. I love this, especially that final stanza!

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