Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Lovely Corpse—September Poetry by Patrick Murfin

A tip-o’-the-hat to Lisa Haderlein, McHenry County maven of the environment and preserver and restorer of the wild places.  She posted the photo above on Facebook.  It was taken outside the Starline Gallery in Harvard last Friday.  It got me to thinking….
The Lovely Corpse
Monarchs, they say, are a dying breed.
Not the superfluous Royals of Windsor
            or oil rich Arabs.
They will disappear, too,
in their own good time
but are not our business here today.

I am talking about those golden orange and black
            zephyr riding marvels that by the millions
            used brighten Septembers
            with hints golden autumn yet to come
            on their epic migrations
            from Canadian prairies
            to Mexican piney woods.

They are scarcer with every passing year.
Now each sighting is an adventure
            like spotting some rare songbird
            flitting unexpectedly from bough to bough.

They say the warming world is to blame
            which is tough on common milkweed,
            the migrant’s only diet.


But if I say it out loud,
some Fox News talking head
will scream that I’m a liar and a fraud
and someone will decide that after all
they are illegal immigrants
and likely terrorists to boot
and propose to build a wall net
to ensnare them lest they
infect our purity.

A friend of mine espied one the other day
            and thought to snap a photo,
            but the monarch was not on wing
            or resting on some rare milkweed pod,
            but splatted against the gleaming grill
            of a Jaguar.

Think of all that horse power
            from the carbon spewing engine
            that cooks the atmosphere
            that kills the milkweed
            yet made this assassination

—Patrick Murfin

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