Butterflies and a Garden Intruder
Poetry of Early Summer
I Shall Go Softly
I shall go softly in the garden now;
Each time I turn a corner I intrude.
The hummingbird upon the sage for food,
The oriole upon an upper bough,
The unseen quail with many-numbered brood
Invisible, still murmurs as she goes.
But I’ll go softly as the summer grows;
I shall be silent and half-seen and viewed
As garden sprite just glimpsed beside the rose.
The Dance of the Butterflies
Where did you come from?
Smaller and smallest–so many of you!
With wings of velvet orange,
Or gray-edged silver blue,
Or black-tipped yellow.
I see your summer song
In great circles over moist ground,
You splendid, precious throng.
In the flare of your wings and the swirl,
The air has a beating soul;
So many of you must dance
To make the air whole.
Your song and your wingbeats are silent,
Yet through them I can see
This is the song our souls shall dance
When they fly free.
Rustling in the grass.
Small invisibles scatter.
I keep on walking.
How bright the ground is,
and how black is my shadow
beneath the full moon.
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