This Poem was Submitted By: Mark D. Kilburn On Date: 2010-11-27 09:42:44 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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Monarchs Are Worth Saving

I’m female in my prime and beauty ripe, iridescent with brilliant brightness  I’m at my sexual peak,  surely I will be one of the first taken. I am plucked from a densely packed branch filled with worried women desperate for a mate. Picked and carried by a male of equal beauty  owning an air of experience and tremendous strength  he carries me as I fall limp. He flies me to a brook where we drink deeply, the water tastes luxurious, my juices flow. The small stream lies below a cascade,  the tiny waterfall makes a symphonic sound that magnetically adds to his supreme seductive power. His splendid strength supports me, he loves me, completely... I am penetrated fully, he enters my soul in a way I thought impossible. Entirely and immediately I fall in love with him, faithful forever; we couple twice and our mating is successful. He leaves me by the water where I thirstily drink using my proboscis, it tastes cool, clean, vibrant, alive, and delicious. Full of the many nutrients I need for I am urged  and inexplicably driven to fly north. I don’t know where I’m going only that I must go far. I soar in the sun, my wings bright beyond words and beautiful beyond clichés; I fly whenever the sun is up for I am fasting, stopping only for the finest water. I manipulate the wind, whether with me or against me I fly north. Riding thermals and soaring for hundreds of hungry miles, on the fifteenth day I tire, my vibrant wings are weakened and faded, no longer erect. They mimic a ship’s torn sail but somehow still onward fly; in pain I cross into the United States and continue my tiresome trek.                                                                                                             I am pregnant and hungry, starving really, but I press on. My yens are stronger, my water stops fewer, barely enough to keep me going, drive and desire my only fuel. The vegetation turns greener, teasing me the further I fly,  my destination feels closer, despite not knowing where. Below I see it, tall green shoots beckon like Homer’s sirens, copious fields of Toxic Milkweed entice below, I am at journey’s end.   My shimmering array is faded and I no longer attract,  I am old. My wings are torn and cannot withstand nor manipulate wind,  I am pale. Satisfied contentment beyond description surrounds me though, even as I lie dying, for my eggs rest under a protective Milkweed plant, the way evolution taught us. I battle to fly a short distance when the spring winds knock me off course,    I fall to the ground wearing fulfillment’s smile, where I pass on. My eggs are alive however, in time an ugly, lone caterpillar will appear,  after devouring what’s left of its own egg casing it begins chomping on the plant. Milkweed is loaded with nutrients and the worm grows plump. The plant is highly toxic; my worm will also become toxic  as our predators know. Inexplicably it attaches itself under a safeguard, the sturdy Milkweed leaf,  where it eventually metamorphosis’s, becoming another miraculous Monarch butterfly.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Copyright © November 2010 Mark D. Kilburn

This Poem was Critiqued By: Ellen K Lewis On Date: 2012-04-18 23:41:12
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 1.00000
Mark this is one of your best!! I adore this! I wanted you to know I read it, even if cant crit! I know this was awhile back but would like to see this kind of stuff more often! oh and btw the monarch caterpillar is a beautiful, colorful thing worth searching through the milkweed for. :) ~smile!~ Ellen

This Poem was Critiqued By: Mandie J Overocker On Date: 2010-11-28 21:57:03
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.82353
Mark, This is an amazing, beautiful piece on the Monarch butterfly. I journeyed with her through your words, I flew on the currents and grew tired alongside her. Now, I as a poet am always looking, or better, reading in to things and seeking the double meaning of the written word. I can't help but wonder if your poem here is truly just about the Monarch butterfly or something else altogether. Your title leads me to believe that it could be either, Monarchs could refer to women who head a family. Your poem then takes on an interesting spin as everything becomes a metaphor. if this was your intent then you have truly written a magnificent piece...either way it is excellent. Cheers~ Mandie
This Poem was Critiqued By: Lora Silvey On Date: 2010-11-28 03:28:10
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.85714
Mark what a very courageous and ambitious undertaking. First, let me say--I read with much interest even when your poem morphed to prose--so interesting. You could have staged this is seperate parts, three poems would have accomplished your story without dragging or loosing the reader's interest. IMHO at: "His splendid strength supports me, he loves me, completely..." is where I would have ended my first poem and then devided the remainder up into sequels. Anyway, I did enjoy reading about the glorious monarch. Thanks for the wonderful knowledge. Lora
This Poem was Critiqued By: Tony P Spicuglia On Date: 2010-11-27 17:41:00
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Mark, a splendid look at the Monarch. It is accurate and enlightening. From the migration and the ingestion of milkweed, to the instictive need to mate and migrate, you cover the issues and biological resources that make it unique among the "insect" world. I will take your word for the "soul" reference (or at least let the poetic license infer it), but in that saying you captured not only for the monarch, but for most species, the powerful draw to mate. A well written informative piece. thank you for sharing.
This Poem was Critiqued By: cheyenne smyth On Date: 2010-11-27 17:38:15
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.69231
Hi Mark, This is a stunning piece of poetry about the journey of the Monarch Butterfly. I had no idea they flew so far and encountered so many obstacles. The personifcation of the Butterfly is an excellent idea and the perfect way to descibe her long trek. Nature is so amazing...out of something as ugly as a creepy worm comes the beauty of a Butterfly. I am not usually a fan of long poetry but once I began to read I couldn't stop until the very end. Well done. Best wishes, cheyenne
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