Butterfly and Caterpillar

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Another fantastic collaboration with the great Hullabaloo22 that takes place down the rabbit hole!

 

 

 

 

Meandering the meadow,

enjoying now my flight,

I realize that I’ve gone wrong

for there into my sight

appears a great big mushroom,

or toadstool, if you please;

and a strange aroma

that makes me want to sneeze.

 

“Who are you?” I say,

to the fluttering thing fluttering round.

It dances in a daze, coloured green like the haze

I expel with each sound

of my stuffy voice,

for my lungs are filled with smoke.

I watch the fluttering thing flutter closer,

a billowing cloud makes it choke;

it’s not my fault can’t you see

for I merely wish it to leave me be.

 

It seems to want to talk with me,

it seems to think I planned

to end up in the strangest place,

to be here in this land.

It’s down to faulty navigation

that I ended up so lost.

I’ve yet got to find out

how much will be the cost.

I suppose I’d better answer,

in truth and not a lie;

“Me,” I say, indignantly,

“I am a butterfly!”

I flitter and I flutter,

not quite sure if I should land

beside this strangest creature

who does have the upper hand.

 

Such an impudent tone in which it answers,

this butterfly that flutters before me;

a drag from my hookah will mend the mood

and send a soothing wave through my prolonged body.

My dozens of feet twitch with the pleasure

and my eyes roll like a lazy towel,

yet this butterfly continues to glare at me

with an ugly, impatient scowl.

Why must it bother me so

with its energetic hovering?

How long before it decides to go

and leave me to my languid mellowing?

I can see it will not leave just yet,

it intends to stay and haunt;

so with a drawl from my pipe,

I query, “What do you want?”

 

“I did not mean to bother you,

or cause any upset;

remember that I’ve lost my way

or did you just forget.

My wings are tired from beating,

I need a little rest,

I really am exhausted but

I’ll move if you protest.

I only wanted to be friends,

and say to you ‘Hello’,

but if my presence bothers you

I’ll just get up and go.

But maybe you would like to talk,

but careful with that smoke;

I’m not so used to things so pungent

and it makes me want to choke.”

 

“How can you get up if you have not yet landed?”

I’ll ponder on that for a moment or two

before returning my attention

back to the green image of you:

the butterfly who does insist

to flutter round and round

fanning smoke back in my face,

instead of taking a seat on the ground.

“If it is your desire, then come and do join me

though, I should not care to be disturbed;

please mind my many feet when you land,

take a seat and look not so perturbed.”

I shift to create more space,

offering you a place to land, though it’s so little;

“Now, please recite a lesson,” I say to it,

for my attention is quite fickle.

 

“A lesson you are asking for?

Well, did you even know

that soon you will be changing

through a process that is slow.

You’ll be getting tired and

a long sleep will be needed;

you’ll be wrapped inside a soft cocoon

while the changes are extended.

Instead of all those many feet

you’ll get to spread your wings

and get to find how flying

is the greatest of all things.

Of course, that’s if you make it,

after puffing on that pipe

and breathing all those fumes

that smell of rot and over-ripe.”

Maybe I should have picked another

topic to discuss;

I hope I’ve not offended him

and caused a great big fuss . . .

 

“My body is to transform and I am to gain wings?”

What queer events this transformation does portend;

the loss of my feet and a cocoon,

exacitackly content with things as they stand.

I am to become something wholly different;

I don’t believe this other form shall prove a welcomed change,

for I am also expected to give up other aspects

all for a transformation I did not arrange.

My pipe, my favoured past time,

though I notice not the smell;

what will become of my many shoes?

It is a fret I cannot quell.

“Do tell me, what is so great

about the wonder of flying?

Is it so easy to keep your wings a-flap

or do you fret of dying?

And what will I do with my hookah?

It’s a favoured treasure to me!

Will I be able to still puff away?

I am waiting for you to tell me.”

 

I’m thinking that maybe I should not have spoken,

for that pipe of the caterpillar is one treasured token.

I’ve given him cause to fret and to worry;

a situation I must mend in a hurry.

I must find a way of selling these wings,

for flying is one of those magical things.

“Can you imagine being able to fly,

to be able to roam up free in the sky?

Being able to circle, to loop-the-loop,

to descend on the flowers and their fragrance scoop?”

I can see from his face that he’s not impressed,

too fond of possessions, his hookah, as stressed.

I’m wishing that I’d never drifted this way

for it’s too hard for me to think what to say.

 

“I cannot imagine flying,” I say to the butterfly,

“And my head already loops from the smoke I enjoy.

Is there a greater feeling than euphoria?

Tell me of the means you employ.”

The butterfly is quite clearly frazzled

its gaze darting from my pipe to my half-closed eyes,

always with exuberance it looks about,

is this demeanour flight’s prize?

I must say, its colour is not so distasteful,

though I’m rather happy with my skin a neon blue;

will I turn green like this nervous butterfly

or maintain my intended hue?

And what will I do if I am to change form,

what activity will take the stead

of reclining on my mushroom, toking from my pipe,

letting the euphoria fill my head?

“Perhaps, dear butterfly, we could switch roles

if only for an hour or two;

I wish to know what the fuss is about,

of this flying you’re so adamant I do.”

 

“I don’t think it is possible to do a little switch,”

he’s looking rather cross at me, I think I’m in a fix.

If only I had not got lost, I’d not be here at all

and heading for what’s certainly a conversation fall.

It’s not that I would not like to give him a taste of flight,

I’m sure that he would find it to be some sure delight.

As he is now he’d plummet, to the ground he’d drop,

as a caterpillar he’s too heavy, it would be a flop.

How can I explain it without causing some offence?

My wings are way too fragile, I know I’m making sense.

I’ve made him want to try it now, and the fault is mine;

I’m feeling so much guilt as though I’ve done a crime.

I’m going to have to say ‘goodbye’

and head back to the sky.

 

The butterfly does take off,

fluttering towards the sky;

it’s gone and left me rather curious,

of that I will not lie.

I want to know what it feels like to fly

I want to experience the thrill;

the thoughts the butterfly’s imparted

makes me unable to keep still.

“Wait!  Come back!”

I shout at the fluttering thing,

but it has fluttered too far away,

the sight of its flight imparts a sting.

I wish to discover the sensation of flight,

I wish to have my wings;

when shall this transformation commence?

When will I become one of those fluttering things?

There is little I can do now,

I must do my best to remain calm.

Several deep tokes of my hookah

and my mind’s adrift before long.

I lay here on my mushroom,

relaxed and listless like a stone,

daydreaming of a time to come

when I’ll be skyward prone.

 

 

Picture is 'Little Things' by Beeple.

 

 


Submitted: September 28, 2018

© Copyright 2022 Jeff Bezaire. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:

Comments

jmm424

Fantastic job to the both of you.

Fri, September 28th, 2018 5:36pm

Author
Reply

Thank you very much! It was a lot of fun collaborating on this piece. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Fri, September 28th, 2018 11:01am

hullabaloo22

Hey, Jeff, excellent idea to include the picture on the bottom and the credit. I don't think either of us expected this to turn out so long -- it kind of evolved, didn't it. A joy to work with you on this, as always!

Fri, September 28th, 2018 6:45pm

Author
Reply

Yes, this really was a different kind of beast from our previous collaborations. I don't know if it was the Wonderland theme or our comfort levels working with each other, but this grew into something unexpected but wonderful.
Thank you for coming up with the idea! As always, it was a pleasure working together again. :)

Fri, September 28th, 2018 3:02pm

Kevin Michael Smith

Umm... did part of Dr. Seuss's soul end up in this poem?! lovely

Sun, September 30th, 2018 7:22am

Author
Reply

Nope, just two big fans of Lewis Carroll! lol
Thank you for giving it a read!

Sun, September 30th, 2018 1:20pm

Keke Serene

You all did a great job with this, really! Each part melds with the other exceptionally well- so good job with that, it reads as if one person wrote the poem and not two. Also, nice job with your rhyme scheme- and such an original idea, really. I never quite thought of what the smoking caterpillar would think of either flight or the transformation- though I don't believe the smoking is doing any good for that process. I can kind of relate to both creatures, as I feel we can be content where we are in our lack of potential, but then on the other hand it can be hard to convince someone else the greatness of something they haven't yet experienced. Also, the idea of a butterfly flying around carrying a caterpillar is just too funny lol! Well done, both of you! :D I hope you start a new one soon, I've been enjoying these very much. :)

Sun, September 30th, 2018 7:14pm

Author
Reply

I enjoyed seeing where we took this. We could've kept going with this, really, if we'd wanted to. It was a fun challenge to work off each other's direction.
Considering he transforms into a butterfly by toking real hard on the hookah, I'd say the caterpillar's taking the right steps towards his transformation. lol
I haven't looked at the poem that way, but it is true - it's hard to convince someone of the potential benefits of an experience they've never known. Some people think a roller coaster looks too scary, but once they're on, they realize it's an exciting thrill instead.
I'm glad you enjoyed this piece! We had lots of fun working on it. We're taking a break from our collaborations right now, but before the year is up, we'll be working together again. :)
Thank you for reading, Keke-bear!

Sun, September 30th, 2018 1:19pm

jaylisbeth

Wow! Phenomenal collaboration, dear friends. Very proud of the both of you!

Tue, October 2nd, 2018 2:05pm

Author
Reply

Thank you very much, sweetheart! :)

Tue, October 2nd, 2018 10:10am

D. Thurmond aka JEF

I'd like to say more on a positive level, but it seems I am too late and everyone else has said it all. So, a big two thumbs up to all concerned.

Thu, January 3rd, 2019 6:35pm

Author
Reply

That you read it and enjoyed it is the greatest compliment.
Thank you for giving it a read . . . and another read, and thank you for the kind comment.

Mon, January 7th, 2019 10:31am

JE Falcon aka JEF

It seems everyone has said what I was thinking, so---, Two Thumbs Up to both of you.

Tue, August 11th, 2020 12:15am

Author
Reply

Thank you very much! :D

Mon, August 17th, 2020 6:27pm

Sharief Hendricks

Excellent collabo Jeff and Hully !

Just absolutely brilliant !

Mon, August 31st, 2020 6:13pm

Author
Reply

Thank you! It was our first one and we had fun with it.

Fri, October 2nd, 2020 1:08pm

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