Butterfly Sunrise

The water was the ripple of silk and the birds had quietened down. There were no skunks or bees or mosquitoes or anything that could spray, sting and bite, except the temperature was an ungodly 25 degrees Celsius and even Christian Wiman’s poem [1] made for a stark reminder of the hamster wheel of friendships and beliefs. I walked and listened to words witten by this professor at Yale divinity school, that rasped,

“All my friends are finding new beliefs and I am finding it harder and harder to keep track of the new gods and the new loves,and the old gods and the old loves,and the days have daggers, and the mirrors motives,and the planet’s turning faster and faster in the blackness…”

It’s a poem about steadfastness of friendship given our changing beliefs in life, which make for an interesting perspective [2]. The poet quite unusually, finds his friends beautiful and credible despite their changing mores or circumstance which is heartening to see.

It was getting darker and darker, until I came upon “butterfly sunrise”  on my evening walk. A little girl had etched markings for hopscotch at various lengths of the path and one of them had these words written on it, at another she had printed  “sunshine footprints” and at a third, she had scrawled her signature in a delightful flourish. It was happy graffiti and I borrowed her words for a poem.

Process:Mine is a loose sequence of tercets aiming not to rhyme in iambic pentameter with a little enjambment.

I breeze walk past homes open for summer,
they let out bright light in sounds and fragrance,
perfumed women, men, the softest soap.

The air's rarer, for I can smell them all.
Skunks spirit into the dark undergrowth,
butterfly sunrise jumps at me in chalk,

speedier than sunset and challenges
the lungs; they disobey my evening breath.
These hopscotch numbers are math on a path

leaving sunshine footprints at dusk, like late
blossoms on short overgrown bonsai plants.
There's a food truck, people from twenty nineteen,

unmask smiles at the clubhouse gleefully,
clinking glasses. Those on the tennis courts
sweat out spring, while dogs stroll their walkers.

Summer never really raised a brow
until luciana thought to hopscotch
the road to happiness, in coloured chalk.