I swerved around a swallowtail today,

its goldblackblue mosaic translated

across the glass and gone.

Street’s curbed outline caught the corner of

my eye as the colorburst startled me to

noticing, awakened me to a sight just past

the neighbors.

A sudden glimpse of canines at their master’s

feet—heads anon, ears aperk—then they rose

and trotted on.


What if darting visions, experience, growth

were not an arrow whizzing by in time but

instead layers that land over our lives

like a blanket? What might we make of it,

the mundane atop daysweeksmonths of


Years folding slowly, one event or view at a

time—like the memory of a butterfly’s sighting—

landing, not leaving, laying the bedrock on

which we build our days.


This poem (the first I’ve written in a l o n g time) was inspired by one of Malcolm Guite’s recent “Spell in the Library” series speaking of time being, not a straight line shooting by as we watch from the sidelines, but more like the layers of a blanket, one over the other, building in time.

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