[Blessing The Animals]


then
     the spring-born population stays put
in its region of birth
     the Great Lakes of North America.

then
     of the autum-born population
1/3 hibernates
     while the remaining 2/3
set out southwards
     on a narrow unwavering route.
it's a journey of 3000 kilometres
     down to south Texas/northern Mexico.

on arrival they gather in one or two
     valleys on particular conifers
in their millions
     & rest there till spring
& mate.

then this immense blizzard of wings
     begins to move northwards
travelling in a more leisurely way
     feeding & laying their eggs along the route ...

             the train's shadow
             flickering over the fields

the Monarch is a long-lived butterfly
     each individual surviving approximately
one year.
     their migration pattern is as follows

                  a child nearby
                   at a window

              (migration pattern is as)

                  where the world
                    tracks past a

                  very young child
                     so happy so

                    taken aback
                         she

            sings. (follows) & it beats
              disclosing  enclosing

                  flash! fold flash!
              close slit show shock

                blind shock black
               shock/light exuding

                  over the visible
                  light intruding

                  on the visible
                 light corroding

               the leaves leaving
                 only the light.

                       their

         dispersal               patterns

     are as                                follows.

  map.                                         stop.

count.                                            then

  immense                                 upsurge

      white                              red

                 amber            dark 

          

  the need for flattened bark-dwelling insects
  to get away from predators on tree-trunks may
  well have provided the selective pressure that
  led to the evolution of wings - between rains
  we lay listening lay waiting - you know me ...

      rain on glass to the side of yr face

        

          a door shut in the corridor


Maurice Scully was born Dublin 1952, educated Trinity College, Dublin. Now settled again in Dublin after years away with his wife & 4 children. Several books over the years, most from a single project, most recent of which Livelihood appeared from Wild Honey Press in 2004. The closing two books from this project, which began 25 years ago, are due from Reality Street Editions and Shearsman Books this year: Sonata and Tig, respectively.