They gathered softly in a field for many miles around
to taste in haste the flowers before showers tumbled down
upon the clover blooms, the goldenrod, thistles and grasses;
never in one place too long as hungry blackbird passes.

An undulating wave of black and orange fills the skies.
Silent as a fairy, painted masterpiece that flies
on wings so paper thin, who could begin to realize
the journey and the magnitude for creatures of their size.

Locations to migrate are as innate as procreation.
From Canada to Mexico and through our very nation,
the Monarch is a royal, truly loyal to its subjects
in all of North America; to this, no one objects.

So, when I see the King float on his wings alone and stray,
just nosing in my garden on a lazy summer day,
I know he’s on hiatus as a weary renegade,
for somewhere on their journey flies the whole Monarch Brigade.


Shari Jo LeKane-Yentumi lives in St. Louis, Missouri, where she writes poetry, prose and articles; specializes in literary criticism and non-profit matters. She has a B.A. in English, Spanish, and an M.A. in Spanish from Saint Louis University in Madrid and St. Louis. Since brain surgery, she volunteer teaches creative writing in a maximum security jail and works for civil rights attorneys. She completed a novel in verse, Poem to Follow, and is featured in several poetry anthologies, including the Missouri VSA 2013 Anthology, Turning the Clocks Forward Again; Poetica Victorian; Red Dashboard Disorder Anthology: Mental Illness and Its Effects; The Muse India/Createspace Anthology Of Present Day Best Poems; Bordertown Press Poetry of People on the Move; and Literature Today International Journal of Contemporary Literature. Shari’s poetry has appeared in several literary magazines in the U.S., Canada, England, India, Ireland and Spain.

Featured Image: “Monarch Butterfly” by Chistina Rollo.

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4 Responses

  1. Reid McGrath

    Real nice Shari: You got me thinking about the blue (and for that matter yellow and green and purple) butterfly time with this poem. It was purportedly around negative twenty-five degrees Fahrenheit last night here in the Hudson Valley with the wind-chill, so this poem is either really cruel or a really sweet reminder of the sunny season which—eventually and hopefully—follows. I especially like the last stanza; and the image of the butterfly “nosing” or of being nosy in your garden; and of him being a “weary renegade” detached from the larger “Monarch Brigade.”

  2. Janet Morey

    What a compelling, beautiful poem to the amazing monarch butterfly! I loved every single line, Shari. When our children were small, we brought in a chrysalis and witnessed the process until “our” monarch emerged and fluttered away. I have had such a wonderment ever since regarding this amazing creature. You have captured it and its journey so perfectly. Thank you, thank you for sharing.


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