Butterfly Habit

Ungainly butterfly,
Misdirected flight.
Fascinating random,
Unpredictable delight.
To and fro… up and down
And backwards if you please,
Bumbling aeronautics
Independent of the breeze.

Unruly butterflies,
Liberated dancers.
Whimsically wonky
Little hit and miss romancers.
Playful little femme fatale,
Capriciously she teases,
Wobbling uncontrollably
On butterfly trapezes.

Captivating butterflies,
Seeming to collide.
Momentary coupling
Till they once again divide.
Still… just for a moment
While they pause to kiss the flowers,
On this sunny afternoon
I’ll sit and watch for hours.




Creepy-crawly little spiders and ants,
Keep working their way up the leg of my pants,
Without so much as a ‘by-your-leave’
Or a ‘don’t mind me’, they go up my sleeve.
They tickle and tickle till I lose my cool
And I hop about like a crazy fool,
Smacking myself up front and back
With the flat of my hand and a wackety-wack
__Just to get ‘em!

I wouldn’t mind nearly half so much
If before they visit they would get in touch,
By phone or email or signed petition,
And ask politely for my permission,
To hop on board and invade my space
But they just don’t seem to know their place,
Creeping up onto my big bare toe,
They call their friends and away they go,
__And I hate ‘em!

I wish I could sit in the garden for hours
And listen to the birds and smell the flowers,
But spiders and ants are most unfair
When they sneak around the back of my chair,
And ruin my day with their non-stop motion,
Getting caught up in my suntan lotion,
They tickle tickle tickle with no remorse,
So I get fed up and I go indoors.




He sings his songs into the night,
His mating call is pure delight,
And many a one can hear his plight,
__Echoing through the fog.

His urgent cry is so sincere,
Creating poignant atmosphere.
Who with a heart could fail to hear
__His plaintive monologue?

With plunks and trills he must convince,
No greater charm, before or since,
He surely is their moonlight prince,
__Proclaiming atop the log.

One by one they gather round,
Leaping… leggy o’er the ground,
Responding to that magic sound,
__Floating through the bog.

Their voices sing in sweet reply,
Hypnotic like a lullaby,
To soothe the hungry, yearning cry
__Of one romantic frog.



Norma Pain was born in Liverpool, England and now lives in Parksville, British Columbia, Canada. Thirty of Norma’s poems were published by Dana Literary Society, between 2004 and 2007 and she was twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize by that same on-line poetry site. She self-published a book of rhyme in 2000 called Bulging Assets.

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24 Responses

  1. Paddy Raghunathan


    I feel for you.

    If it weren’t for them mutinying ants, you’d have kissed your romantic frog, who’d have turned into Prince Charming, and then you’d both marry and live happily ever after in the enchanting land of the butterflies.

    Seriously though…it was great fun reading your poems.

    Best regards,


  2. Roy Eugene Peterson

    I love nature poems and yours are a pure joy to read and contemplate. The butterfly flitting is easy to envision with your words and phrases, I feel the same way about ants and spiders, and there was a certain joy I received in your rhyme scheme in “Echoes” coupled with the auditory environment you helped me envision. Delightful and refreshing!

  3. Paul Freeman

    These are great, Norma. I especially liked ‘Butterfly Habit’. It’s spare, whimsical and basing the stanzas on their first words (ungainly, unruly and captivating) was masterful. ‘Whimsically wonky’ – love it!

    ‘Ugh!’ reminded me of the old Tom and Jerry cartoons where the ants ruin the picnics and by sheer weight of numbers set the diving board of a swimming pool vibrating.

    And the frog poem …. reddit!

    • Norma Pain

      Thank you for your comments Paul. These were fun to write and frogs are my favorite little critters. I have quite a collection of them scattered about our sunroom and garden… ornaments of course!

  4. Sally Cook

    Dear Norma –

    I too love the frogs and butterflies;;
    and should a toad hop down a road
    or get stuck in a watering can
    I will save him; know that I can.
    The great great nocturnal moon moth; oh.

    • Norma Pain

      I looked up the nocturnal moon moth and it is so pretty but sadly very short-lived. Thank you for your reply poem Sally.

  5. Tom Woodliff

    I luv bugz! Dead. Anyway, who doesn’t love the sound of crickets and tree frogs. Nice trio of nature poetry

  6. Cheryl Corey

    I really enjoyed these poems, Norma. I’ve planted enough flowers, so I hope to see many butterflies; and like you, I hate the “cooties” of summer; but I do love the song of frogs, especially after a night of rain.

    • Norma Pain

      I love the little green tree frogs and have rescued a number of them from the lawnmower. How many get decimated doesn’t bear thinking about. Thank you for commenting Cheryl.

  7. Phil S. Rogers

    Hard to choose the poem I liked best, but I guess, Butterfly Habit. They are such fun to watch. Light, fun, poems which make me smile inside. Thank you

    • Norma Pain

      I am so happy to have made you smile inside Phil. Butterflies really are a delight to watch. Thank you.

  8. Joshua C. Frank

    My favorite of these is “Echoes,” because I love the sound of frogs in the background at night, and I can almost hear it when I read your poem.

    • Norma Pain

      I too love the sound of frogs, and crickets at night so I am very pleased that my poem created that aura for you Joshua.

      • Joshua C. Frank

        Yes, frogs and crickets… you may recall that I wrote a haiku on that, based on seeing a relative out in the country enjoy them:

        Star-filled, full-moon night
        Frogs and crickets make music
        For one little girl

  9. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Being an avid fan of nature, I love all three of these smile-inducing poems; poems that have the unmistakable Norma touch – the ability to make me grin when the world has me handwringing in despair. Norma, thank you very much indeed!

    • Norma Pain

      Thank you very much Susan. I am so happy that they made you grin and stop handwringing, if only for a moment in time.


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