Hello, my name is leaf.

Unfurl.

Something’s crawling over my now expanded surface.

I am now no longer a bud but I am big and stretched and flat

And there is something crawling on my back, furry and it nibbles my edges

It tickles.

A caterpillar it tells me is its name

He tells me I am young like all things but I will learn

I float in the breeze all is clear and fresh.

 

It blazes hot – it is so satisfying – eating and eating the light – there is no end

It is wonderful. Life is everywhere – the air is still – but I am so full of life.

The caterpillar comes by again and asks if he may use my branch

Not that I have a choice, but I do not mind I am happy and content.

 

The light has left my life – yellow hides behind grey and white.

I feel myself draining – I realise she was who gave me life.

I see a muddy orange filling my mind, I feel weak

Mr. Caterpillar I think is dead he is in a coffin hanging from my branch.

My edges that once tickled are curling inwards. I feel cold.

 

 

My branch is moving! Mr. Caterpillar’s coffin is moving.

It’s breaking, something is moving inside! I feel once more hope that has not been felt for a long time. Hope of life. But it is not Mr. Caterpillar that emerges but something altogether different, strange. It’s beautiful. Absolutely stunning. So many lost colours that I had forgotten. All I have seen is red and brown. But hear blue’s and purples!
And it is flying. Flying! Higher and Higher, ha! look at that.

Then I realise it is not only getting higher but I am getting lower.

Lower

and

lower

I’m falling

Swaying

Dying?

But look oh so beautiful….

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Settle wind, settle.

Whistling wind
Whipping through and through.
A high pitched shriek,
Formula 1 breaking.

Standing I can see you wind
I see the lines you make in the sky
Curved and blurred,
Like a time-lapse photo.

O if only I could see you wind
I’m sure we could be friends.
But all I feel is your cold.
You wrap me up
You get in through my sleeves,
The back of my neck
You make my whole back shiver.

And then you are gone
As quickly as it takes my hair to settle.
But even when I am shielded from you my wind,
I hear your voice;
Your shrill moan
Hail will burst, oh hear!

Inspired by the 160mph Gail force winds in Scotland. *last line borrowed from Shelly. 8/12/11

Organic life.

A pound a basket
Of any ol’ vegetation
The scent of soil
You’ll find it here
Among the hustle bustle
Fresh as a daisy;
Waxy potatoes,
Juicy tamatoes.

But now the market is quiet
The air is soil
The daisy dead
The wax has melted
The tamatoes dried

A pound a basket
Of any ol’ vegetation
If only life was valued so high.

Night of the living scaredy cat.

The other night I learnt a valuable lesson; to stop raging at stupid teenagers in cheap horror movies.

Me and my friends decided to play hide and seek in a graveyard at night. The first round went fine, everyone laughing, although some of us were already scared. At the beginning I did feel quite nonchalant about the whole thing, even enough to jump out from behind a grave  to scare a friend. Twice. But alas my downfall was imminent, I don’t know if it was the alcohol or the cigarettes that got to me, not to mention the trillions of nettle stings on my arse. When I was found first the realisation that I would have to wonder around alone in the dark on my own was terrifying. When I was hiding it was fine almost relaxing sitting on top of some rotting corpse with dried leaves in places while some poor chap got scared with people popping out at them. I soon learnt my lesson, which is even more embarrassing because I wasn’t even on my own.

a branch will break, leaves will rustle and the headstone at the end of the path will look like a cloaked man staring at you ready to kill you like he did your friends. Paranoia sets in and the fact that no one will come out, and the fear. Oh the fear. Because of course it never occurred to you to leave, because that’s not in the spirit of the game, and will also be admitting defeat. But even when I see shadows run across the path like a black cat, telling yourself that it’s nothing or someone playing, does not help (even if it is in fact true, as I later found out)

I now understand the thinking of these dumb movie girls, not only do they have no sense but something actually terrifying are happening to them, instead of a children’s game.

I go to a lit path and stay there, and then I go back into the forest, the main cliché I will say to these TV idiots is ‘why would you go back!, WHY!?’
But the paranoia of not knowing is worse, the need to know what has happened. But when I entered I heard screaming and that was conformation enough of ‘danger’ but instead of running to see what happened I ran, I ran out due to panic.

I ran only to find the humour once everyone found, laughing and joking the only thing you can do is play along, maybe even tell people it was a troll and even when I tell myself it was funny in retrospective, that I over reacted, or was over tired. That it was all just fun and games, teenagers being teenagers, then why?, why? Do I still see an outline of a cloak in the corner of my eye….

The Butterfly a.k.a papillon a.k.a butter-shit

You can pin and mount me like a butterfly – The Smiths.

The best thoughts are the most delicate,

fastest, trickiest to capture.

Lepidoptera so different on the wing,

than when caught, killed,

and proudly displayed. – Randy Read.


Larousse defines beauty as ‘that which is pleasing to the eye or spirit’ and I’m sure most people would agree butterflies are beautiful. Although there will be one or two pessimist’s who ignore the vibrant and intricate patterns, and just see a flimsy little insect. Tough for them since through the ages butterflies have been seen as the former. Lepidoptera [see above] is the scientific name for the phenomenon, and therefore Latin; deriving from the word Lepid meaning ‘pleasant’, Ancient Greek interestingly called it the psyche which meant the soul, and we now borrow that word to mean ‘mind’. Modern Greek haven’t strayed far with petaloudia -petal. I’m guessing that refers to their wings. The Yiddish call it a summer-bird. I should explain butter-shit, hm? There are two theory’s to the origins, one is to with 12th century witches stealing cream, and the other is to do with Dutch excrement, so both are equally valid. The dutch word boterschijte came from the thought that butterflies poo looked a lot like butter, and so on and so forth the flying little butter-shits became butterfly, probably around the same time we became to prudish to even mutter the word shit. The witchcraft explanation is far more interesting however;  back in the 12th century (only a hundred years after Jesus, how he never got done in for witchcraft is beyond me) they believe witches turned into butterflies and stole peoples butter/cream and other such dairy products. So perhaps it was a sort of warning see a papillon shout BUTTERFLY!, as in watch out your butter gonna-ago-flying if you don’t watch it. Protect the cows there’s a witch about!

Etymology aside, what really fascinates me is the transition between wee caterpillar, to pupa, to grown adult.  “‘[to] have to turn into a chrysalis – and then after that into a butterfly. I should think you’ll feel it a little queer?'” – Alice in wonderland. And I think it should feel queer especially as you’ve been a larvae for your whole life, which could be a matter of months, then spin yourself a little home for a few weeks, and come out with wings and your tongue in your antennae. But unfortunately for him, she only has a matter of weeks or even days to enjoy flying, because she has to lay her eggs before they die. But there are some that avoid winter by migrating south, one such case that has stuck with me is the image of the Monarch Butterfly, in the David Attenborough documentary: Life. who travel from Canada to Mexico for a four-month hibernation, more than can be imagined travel to one spot. For protection, seems an obvious reason why they all go there, but how they can know that is still one of the great mysteries.

I do not know whether I was a man dreaming I was a butterfly,
or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I was a man.
–Chuang Tse