To the Monarch (May 2020)

may grid s

Who will
carry the end
back to the beginning?
who will remember the lost, re
the disappeared?  Who will fill life
with futures, release those
fragile wings to
the skies?

brown monarch s

I decided to do my May grid and a butterfly cinquain for both the NaPoWriMo Day 30 prompt, “something that returns”, and Colleen’s #Tanka Tuesday prompt theme, chosen by Elizabeth from Tea and Paper, “the day after”.

When Nina and I first started blogging at memadtwo, one of my recurring themes was endangered species.  I posted twice (here and here) about the Monarch Butterfly, and wrote in one post:

Most people know that monarchs migrate from the United States and Canada to central Mexico to hibernate in winter. This can mean a trip of nearly 3,000 miles!

Between 2012 and 2013 the amount of butterflies who wintered in the Mexican forest decreased by 40%. The forest habitat itself is disappearing as a result of illegal logging. But the extreme weather conditions of the last few years, due to climate change, have also caused lower hatching rates. Another factor is the loss of milkweed plants, the primary food source for monarchs, killed by agricultural herbicides.

may grid close up s

Perhaps the coronavirus will provide these beautiful creatures with some respite from human destruction.

When looking for music about migration I remembered Steve Earle’s song.  Monarchs remind us that borders are only the lines that we ourselves choose to draw.

Thanks to Maureen Thorson and all the participants in NaPoWriMo 2020 for helping me to travel all over the world and creating bridges that reached far beyond the walls and borders of our politics and our forced isolation.


55 thoughts on “To the Monarch (May 2020)

  1. Incredible artwork, poem and sentiment. Porpoise swim in Venice’s canals..why not the return of the Monarchs? Plant them (lilacs) and they will come.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A beautiful poem. I especially like “who will carry the end back to the beginning”. Milkweed is the scourge of farmers and necessity to the Monarchs. A pox on herbicides!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A beautiful pairing of butterfly cinquain (I love the shape and pertinent questions – and the splitting of re-locate) and May grid (and close-up), Kerfe. Butterflies are delicate, varied and colourful, and they make the spring and summer for me. We’ve already had a few in our garden this year, but none as stunning as the Monarch. Thanks for the additional information about them. I also hope that the coronavirus will provide respite not only for butterflies but also other creatures that are threatened by human activities. Virtual travelling creates bridges while leaving the wildlife to flourish.

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  4. ❤ Kerfe, I am so glad to have reconnected over April. I will try to stay in touch beyond that, I just have to remember to check blogs (I'm bad at that these days admittedly. Depression and work tends to eat me on a regular basis, but knowing I have a community like you and the poets I've met during NaPo is a lifeline.

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  5. I grew up in the self-proclaimed Butterfly Town, USA (Pacific Grove, California). We had an annual parade in which all schools, private and public, participated. Somewhere there’s a pic of 2nd grade me wearing a green felt hat, as, I suppose, a milkweed.
    Thanks for returning that memory to me… ~

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s what’s so depressing. I suppose the knives will be out (literally) for the pangolin now, that evil deadly creature that has been the cause of so much human suffering. As for Rhinos and Tigers, well we’ve just about finished the mission to rid the planet of that vermin.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It’s so depressing….I’m in a down cycle at the moment anyway. Even a short walk today didn’t lift my spirits… although I did see a murder of crows over the park.


          1. I thought this would be a good time to be here, in this very quiet place where no one passes by anyway, but it just makes me anxious for all the things that aren’t here, or not in the right numbers. There are no hares this year, for the first time ever, for example. They’ve killed them all. The bastards.

            Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy 1st Day of May! I love your artwork, and the poem is gorgeous. Thanks for creating awareness about global warming and the monarch butterflies. It’s so sad how they are disappearing. ❤ xo

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