Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Why the Angel Became a Catepillar

author's note:

This poem seems appropriate as we snuggle into our cocoons at the Winter Solstice.


If a child or adult
ever asks "why, oh why?"
in regards to this life

perhaps you should tell her
about the angel
who lost its wings
after being lulled to sleep
by a life too easy--

waking to discover
how in the carelessness of that slumber
its wings had broken off--
so now the feathers lay scattered
all over the cold earth far below.

But the angel laughed
as it leapt
because the cherub knew
it had no choice:
fallen wings do not return
no matter how much you groan
and plead, high above:

you must lower yourself...

and if the child or adult
still questions the justice
of crawling this Earth
to recover what was
so innocently lost...

I tell her:
consider the lowly caterpillar
that plods along
until it finally arrives
right where it needs be

then somehow knows how
to weave what is required:

consider its dark confining cocoon

then consider
the brilliant butterfly
that bursts forth.

As an angel
its wings were invisible
but now, all day long
it can enlighten us
by displaying its beauty.

Perhaps someone will suggest
I invented this story
of the angel and the caterpillar
just to quiet someone's nagging "why"

I'll reply:
no matter what the reality may be
this story seems to me
a damn good way
to motivate myself
to keep on plodding...

© 2012, Michael R. Patton
searching for the new mythology

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