Monarch Butterflies Migration Mirror Poem

Marc Latham’s latest Folding Mirror poem was inspired by an article about trying to conserve habitat for monarch butterflies by Jill and Harold Draper in American Forests magazine. It’s available on the American Forests website.

Monarch  Butterflies Migration

The article explains how monarch butterflies have an amazing migration over five to nine generations from Mexico and southern U.S.A. to northern U.S.A. and Canada.

The cycle reaches its peak when a super generation of monarch butterflies feel the first real cold weather in the north and fly to the southern point of monarch butterflies’ geographical range.

All being well, after hibernating it starts the cycle again by heading north. It dies after a few weeks, but has laid eggs, and the next generation continues the northerly migration.

The butterfly’s caterpillar only eats milkweed, while the adult feeds on multiple plants.

Several generations live short lives migrating north, before a new super generation reaches the cold, and flies south to start the cycle again.

Wikipedia explains that monarch butterflies migrate through CRY proteins in their antennas acting as a geomagnetic compass using ultraviolet light.

Monarch Butterflies Mirror Poem

Here’s the poem. The 4×4 of the title refers to the four stages of the monarch butterfly’s birth and life, and there usually being at least four generations of monarch butterfly each migration, with one being a super generation that travels a little way north, all the way south, and then a little north again.

Monarch Butterfly 4×4 Life Cycle

Canadian frost
tells me
I am the super generation
most northern flying
monarch butterfly
and it is time
to turn south
to start
the cycle again

egg, caterpillar and pupa; several generations live, shortly

coasting under clouds
I end
species journey north
directed by CRY light
one journey
thousands of miles
do I remember my ancestors
before I’m
Mexican first

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Mirror Poem Book Poetry Reflections 11 – 15

Fifteen reflections from 242 Mirror Poems and Reflections are on the Writing and Poetry blog now, so following on from reflections 1-5 and reflections 6-10, here’s reflections 11-15:

The book’s available from Amazon for under £3 and under $6, and lots of other currencies for the equivalent prices; and Smashwords for other ebook readers for much less.

Mirror Poem Reflections

Reflection 11 mirrored the poem Tale of the Weakness Tail

Limits of Freedom

When birds have freedom
they don’t fly into the stratosphere
but sometimes bump into windows.

Reflection 12 mirrored Human and Society Chicken and Egg Dilemma Oddly Solved

Those who feel hard done by
often seem to want to get even
not necessarily with whoever
caused their upset
but with anybody
who’ll balance the books
return their equilibrium
as they see it
for the unloved to feel love
for the bullied to feel powerful
for the unlucky to feel lucky
for the poor to feel rich
for the insane to feel sane.

Reflection 13 mirrored Mine Bipolar Mind

You cannot escape -
thinking you’re free
one side of the mind
on the same body.

Reflection 14 mirrored All Cooper

The mirror image of personality and humanity has been a regular theme in Folding Mirror poetry. Vincent Furnier‘s Alice Cooper alter-ego allows him to investigate and release his internal demons; demons that once sent him into alcoholism and a sanatorium.

Societies that have the freedom to analyse and criticise themselves, with a free press and human rights, should be healthier in the same way as Furnier is now, while societies that do not have the same reflection and release will probably grow more demonic.

Reflection 15 mirrored Climbing Over the Hill

Did I reach middle-age missing out a couple of lines? How many more lines will I go through and reach? Is middle-age the purgatory of your life: looking back at your life without knowing the future? Or if you have one!

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Mirror Poem about Janis Joplin

Marc Latham’s latest Folding Mirror poem is a fantasy conversation with Janis Joplin, who tragically died of an overdose at aged 27 in 1970.

Mirror Poem Explanation

There is no anniversary relevance for a poem about Janis Joplin in the wider world, but she was the subject of Reflection 19 in Marc Latham’s 242 Mirror Poems and Reflections, and it is that reflection’s turn to be serialised on Marc’s greenYgrey website.

So, in a first from that book, here’s a new Folding Mirror poem inspired by a reflection. It tells a story of an imaginary meeting with Janis in a biopic kind of way, based on real aspects in her life.

Janis grew up in Port Arthur, Texas and had a younger sister who attended her wake in San Francisco. Janis started her California career singing in the band Big Brother and the Holding Company.  Somewhere Near Salinas is part of the Me and Bobby McGee song made famous by Janis.

New Mirror Poem

Here’s the poem:

Happiness over Horizon, Jiving with Janis

on a memorable day of bopping
round clocking with Janis Joplin
at some Hollywood palace
of debateable excellence
I asked her if she treasures
memories from Port Arthur Texas

why did I ask, you really wanna know

forgetting love Somewhere Near Salinas
I remembered my past without fuss
boredom creates blues
feeling nothing to lose
replied singer in Big Brother
but I cherish Laura little sister

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Mirror Poem about Life, Time and Thought

Marc Latham’s latest Folding Mirror poem was written out of nothing really, just stream of consciousness thinking watching Blondie at Glastonbury on T.V. at the end of June, 2014.

Poem Explanations

The title and last line refers to a single thought of a small creature being superior in that way to great giant stars, which just work unthinkingly by thermonuclear reactions. The last line also plays on the British television series about a vet, All Creatures Great and Small.

So although the universe is mindbogglingly massive, life as we know it on Earth is the best we know for thinking. Here’s the poem:

Sunspot Image Gallery
Photo by NASA.

Particular Preciousness of Thinking, Thought Superior to Reaction

crunch time for mortal minds
strangles infinite breath
day drags for damselfly
century crows to humanity
instinct, learning, loving, expiring
endless summer days

One’s outlook on life, age of calendar July

winter limits light
experience, remembering, warming, gripping
holding on for dear
life becomes more refined
sailing history’s horizon
all creatures greater than sun

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Mirror Poem Inspired by Wolf Photo

Marc Latham’s latest Folding Mirror poem is an ekphrastic one  inspired by a wolf calendar photo. The October wolf’s grey paws seemed to join it to the rock it stood on, so the connection between wolf and Earth seemed a good topic for a mirror poem. Here it is:

Wolves 2012 Calendar, October Star Wolf

fire melting gold
fall full flow
leaves oval shaped
seem to poke
fun behind rump
tongue-twisting
on thin reaching branches

both stand on rock, green and grey coloured

under strong running legs
tree-like
paws resemble  plinths
keep head grounded
feminine tongue smiles
sunrise eyes shine
below mountain peaks

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Mirror Poem about Natural Inspiration for Mind

Marc Latham’s latest Folding Mirror poem was inspired by a hazy half-moon night, inspiring the thoughts of this poem. He thought how much more he would have thought if he’d spent more time under it, like the ancients did before writing down things; or even people of the last century before the age of television. Some people do still live like that of course, all over the world.

Entrancing Haze, Thoughtful Phase

moon never told a story
ocean didn’t create a rhyme
but waves can sound sublime.
sun wouldn’t sing a song
air can’t write musical lyrics
but wind can breeze idyllic.

natural noise, interpretative imagination

hearing sounds sparks creative cell
nervous system neurons spark new
ingenious ideas begin to brew .
however our brains have evolved
knowledge from more silent times
cultural memes travelling laid lines.

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A Site for Reading and Publishing Folding Mirror and Related Poetry

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