Moth, Angel of the Night

Emerging from a rich cocoon,
you shed off your old husk–
with legs outstretched and wings unfurled,
you head out in the dusk.

O harbinger of sunsets–
O twilight angel true!
The time has come for you to fly
out in the midnight blue!

You flit around from here to there,
imbued with majesty.
Enjoying cool unfettered sky,
Enjoying life so free.

O spirit of the open–
O sailor of the night!
You travel through the great unknown
whilst reaching for the light!

The time has come to rest at last,
for nothing ever stays–
All wings must beat a final flap,
All legs must give away.

O treasure born of treasure–
O rainbow found at dark!
Although you only stayed so long,
our world has felt your mark.

Your dance of death has finished here,
and off you drift, so still.
But you have passed to many kin–
a dance of life, a will!



Fallen Arbor

Too quickly from this world you took your leave–
the angels at your solemn fate did weep.
Our sorrowed hearts could only mourn and grieve,
the day when you fell in eternal sleep.

Your gnarled wood has rotted in old age,
and leaves once green no longer can be found.
Our weeping hearts no power could assuage,
the day when you fell crashing to the ground.

But every great misfortune brings new chance,
as Nature’s cycle starts again once more–
Your body seems decaying at a glance–
But none can ever strip away your core!

Although you’ve passed your spirit still survives–
for from your death a new life grows and thrives.



Michael Zhao is an eleventh grade student at Lynbrook High School in San Jose, California.


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8 Responses

  1. Leo Zoutewelle

    Michael, I am impressed by the way you turned your thoughts into poetry. Keep up the good work!

  2. Joe Tessitore

    Young poets sparkle on the page
    With talent that belies their age.

    Will the circle be unbroken, indeed!
    Well done, Mr. Zhao!

  3. James A. Tweedie

    Michael, I wrote my first sonnets in 11th grade. I wrote of love, of disappointment, angst, and hope. Somehow you managed to get at least three out of the four of these themes into your own sonnet . . . most significantly, hope. The poem is lovely. Your attitude towards life . . . even more so.

    There are three kinds of people in the world. Those who tear good things down, those who don’t, and those who raise good things up. It seems that you are destined to be numbered among the latter group. May your tribe increase.

  4. Sally Cook

    Fine work, especially for someone just starting out. I, too love moths and trees. Let;s see more !

  5. C.B. Anderson


    Nice stuff! You don’t really need it, but if you want some advice from a grizzled veteran, it would go like this:

    In line 2 of “Moth” — “shed” does not require the adverb “off” — it’s built in, so “you shuffle off your husk” or

    “discarding your old husk –”

    would be better & more metrical.

    The very last line leaves me wondering, though I understand “a dance of life,” what “a will!” has to do with anything other than the attribution of volition to an insect whose entire existence is pre-programmed genetically. These comments should in no way detract from your achievement, but should only serve as notice in regard to how important fine distinctions and subtle details can be in a poetical thesis (conceit).

  6. Angel L Villanueva

    What wonderful display of poetic talent at a young age! The two poems are a pleasure to read. Nicely done!

  7. C.B. Anderson

    Also, the last line of the first stanza of “Fallen Arbor” would be better if it had gone:

    the day you fell into eternal sleep.

    Do you see why this is so?


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