BTT #12.2: Stages of Life

a monarch-butterfly-chrysalis

Stages of Life
We love to watch the
Monarchs when they are young,
Inching along the edges of their
Milkweed world
Devouring their green nursery with a
Grim and fervent appetite.
We thrill to see them fly
When they are grown,
Flitting in the edges
Of our gardens and
Lighting the dark corners of
The groves until they
Rise together against the
Coming frosts finally to
Gather and intertwine to drape
The sharp-needled evergreeens
For a season with a crawling
Gown of autumn fire.
—   —   —
But I, myself, hold the
Chrysalis most tender to my heart,
Where a skin of leathered jade
Is wrapped tight beneath
A translucent membrane
Of papered expectation,
Bound by a solitary
Golden chain and a sprinkling
Of shimmering diadems
Clinging by the most tenuous
Of threads to the wider web of life,
But mostly just hanging…
Just hanging there
Surrounded by the atmosphere and
Sunlight, and merely the very
Cosmos whirring in oblivious
Disregard around this
Point of breathing stillness,
Where silent wings simply
Lie enfolded upon a
Slowly beating heart.
—   —   —
Lona Gynt, April 2016
 This is a poem from April 2016 that I am linking to Björn’s dVerse prompt on use of metaphor.  I have been wanting to show it to my dVerse friends for a while.  I will let y’all figure out the metaphors….
says the girl in the chrysalis of jade…
Here is the link to the dVerse prompt, join us there as we flit about deciding what’s what.
All rights for text reserved by Lona Gynt, July 2017.
a monarch-butterfly-chrysalis
This post is dedicated to my Mother who helped me raise a Monarch Butterfly when I was five,  and to my Therapist, Tamara, who helps me see that even folded wings can be beautiful.

48 thoughts on “BTT #12.2: Stages of Life

  1. An excellent extended metaphor, Lona! I love the image of the monarch butterflies
    ‘Inching along the edges of their
    Milkweed world
    Devouring their green nursery with a
    Grim and fervent appetite’
    but am entranced by the mystery of the leathered jade chrysalis. I love the way you describe it as ‘A translucent membrane
    Of papered expectation

    Just hanging there
    Surrounded by the atmosphere and
    Sunlight, and merely the very
    Cosmos whirring in oblivious
    Disregard around this
    Point of breathing stillness’,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like how you have framed this – opening with what to me is the delight parents take in watching their children blossom. The second part is more personal – hesitant – the description tenderly beautiful – a reminder that the transformation, for all of us, is unique.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. SMiLes.. Lona.. For tHere Is A Cocoon
    At Least That Lives in Most
    of Us For Butterfly
    or Perhaps
    A Bear
    in the Winter
    Maybe Even
    A Mama Grizzly
    Bare but it’s True
    Some Folks Fail to
    Touch Their Butterfly
    Or Never Awaken the
    Grizzly Hibernating
    Within until he
    Wakes up
    And we Are
    Terrified to See
    He Lives with no
    Assistance From Us
    or the Butterfly Same
    Stuck in a Cocoon So Long
    The Opaque Window to Love
    Has Grown Cold And too Frigid to Open Up,,
    But Still
    THere is
    And Still tHeRe
    is Hope For Change
    Is A GreaTesT GiFT oF aLL..:)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the transformation of the monarch with:
    The sharp-needled evergreeens
    For a season with a crawling
    Gown of autumn fire.

    The second part, was for me, a moment of thoughtful reflection & deep awareness:
    Point of breathing stillness,
    Where silent wings simply
    Lie enfolded upon a
    Slowly beating heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Grace. This is the most essentially personal piece I have written. I am glad you liked the part with the Mariposas. These are amazing creatures, but I guess we can be also. But sometimes one must be still. Thanks again. 🦋


  5. This reminded me that change may not be easy, but sometimes it’s ok, and necessary, to retreat into the change, if that makes sense. We can get too caught up in the greed of doing, in the need to be beautiful, all of that, and sometimes we need to just be still.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad you noticed the larvae, (Those beautiful yellow, white, black striped babies get overlooked), in noticing the greed of doing. Stillness has its place, sometimes without it we will have never moved to the next step. This was a meaningful reading from you Sarah, thanks 💜


    1. Yes, I am so glad you saw that disconnect in chronology. I did not do this in sequence from larva to pupae to adult… since it is a poem primarily about the chrysalis, where I am living now for many years, and the chrysalis is usually unseen and hidden, and oh so beautiful. Thank you for the notice and for the prompt. I am sorry I did not do a new poem for the prompt, but I have wanted to show this to y’all for a while, and this seemed like the perfect time. Thank you friend.


  6. My sons and I have raised some monarchs, from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly and they are beautiful at every stage! I know from my own life, God’s Spirit can work heart changes and we just need to be still. A gorgeous poem, Lona!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Lynn. And I am so glad you have had that experience with your sons. It was one of the highlights of my life growing up in Utah, raising a monarch with my mother when I was five. I remember watching it pump its wings and fly away finally. Here I Alabama,, we have a lot of Swallowtails, but I have only seen a Monarch, that I remember, once. I miss them. I am saddened that I just saw a study that suggests there population may have declined by 80% due to milkweed habitat destruction, which panics me no end. I think I am going to try to plant some milkweed in my little corners here and see if some show up. I am grateful for God’s work in this little creature, and in our little heart corners as well. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. crawling gown, papered expectation, point of breathing stillness – particularly struck me but the whole poem is utterly beautiful and you took this beloved, well-worn image and made it fresh and new- alive with veriditas and meaning. Hooray – you make my poet heart rejoice!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank You Christine, so GREAT to meet you, and thank you for the lovely words. The Monarchs are beloved, it is very meaningful to me that I could make this live a bit for you. Rejoicing right backatcha 😉


  8. This is such a beautiful poem, a metaphor of life. I don’t think anyone’s life is as straightforward as it may seem from birth through many stages and death. I imagine we all go through chrysalis periods of sorts, but of course, though this has a very personal meaning for you.
    And I like that there’s a sense of stillness, or calm, which is beautiful in itself, but that something is happening beneath the surface. (And back to transitions. . .). 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you friend. Coming to feel a measure of calm rather than entrapment in the protracted pupae stage has been a blessing to me, my life has competing imperatives, but at least I have been blessed with calm that comes with affirmations like that found in your comment. I am also grateful that you some universality here too. (Eyes a tad damp just now to be truthful) 💜

      Liked by 1 person

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