Poem Inspired by Photography: Butterfly Skims

Over at the dVerse Poets Pub, Grace invites us to succumb to the whimsical charm of Joel Robison’s photography and write a poem either inspired by his imagery or else to create a world which doesn’t quite play by the rules we know. I think my Poetic Muse would agree whole-heartedly with that! Thank you very much, Joel, for letting us use your images for our poetry and be sure to visit Joel’s blog and gallery for lots more inspiration.


It should have been something more substantial

but no, my Muse chose butterfly wings for itself!

It alights for a flicker of eyelids,

then skims across ponds encircled in rushes.

It sets each flower afire with its quiver.

All eyes follow in strange enchantment:

A shimmering trance of something not quite glimpsed.

Far too short it tarries with me.

Presto, presto, at times some allegretto,

it flashes its mottled colour onto the next bloom.

Will there be butterflies next season?

I’m growing old and my trousers are still unrolled,

as I set out with fine mesh netting

to capture, to sample, to add to my butterfly collection.


30 thoughts on “Poem Inspired by Photography: Butterfly Skims”

  1. what better form than a butterfly? little sky dancers in their colorful tutus…pretty cool image to see them setting the flowers afire as well…and will they be here next year….i guess we can only hope…

    1. Well, I’d have liked something with gravitas, more profound… but I’ve obviously got a way to go still until I become a grande dame of anything.

  2. Will there be butterflies next season?
    I’m growing old and my trousers are still unrolled

    That often is the fear! Whether one can sustain it given the afflictions to the mind and body that seem to happen fast! Great lines Marina!


  3. Oh, Marina Sofia, that’s s a perfect way to describe the elusive muse! And I love the imagery of what happens when the muse pays a visit. Isn’t it the best feeling? Thanks for sharing this.

    1. Sometimes I scrub the floorboards, cook dinner, uncork the wine and light the candles for the Muse and she doesn’t alight… Butterflies are fickle creatures!

  4. I say YES. I love the idea of catching and watching those butterflies alighting on the flowers ~ An enchanting idea, very lovely Marina ~ Thanks for linking up ~ Have a wonderful week ~

  5. i think the butterfly collection and yes connection can last much longer that the heard of herd will let us think..

    as long as wings are flying..

    the butterfly effect…

    is just a fly



  6. Now I wish I knew the T. S. Eliot poem to help me understand the references. I think we all might hope for butterflies (or bees) next season and also that we ourselves will be around to enjoy them. Butterflies are synonymous with the joy of summer for me.

    1. It’s a very straightforward allusion to those rather rueful lines from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock:
      I grow old … I grow old …
      I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
      It was an old favourite of my group of friends, we’d say that whenever one of our joints creaked (age 25 or thereabouts).

  7. I like the images you paint with your lovely butterfly muse. I’ll remember this poem whenever I see a butterfly. For now, I sure hope there will be butterflies next season.

  8. Nice capture of the flighty nature of creativity. The butterflies in our neck of the woods have not been as prolific as in the past–hopefully, not prophetic of the fickle muse.

  9. Our muses often take us places we didn’t consider but always from it comes an interesting journey. Yours is no different Marina. For me there was a beautiful contemplative mood about your words. Thank you.

  10. Very cool. I suppose if your muse flits about like a butterfly: here one moment, and gone the next, at least when it comes, it’s full of vibrant colour and beauty!

  11. keep those trousers unrolled as long as you live… and there will always be butterflies… so sad that i missed this prompt – love his pics…

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