Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers
on Monday mornings. This is an Open Thread forum,
so if you have an off-topic opinion burning a hole in
your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.
When I ran, I felt like a butterfly that was free.
– Wilma Rudolph
Earlier this month, I had the joyful honor of posting poetry by Irene Fowler here at Flowers for Socrates. Since then, she has sent me another set of poems, and I have been messaging with Irene to enlist her as a guest host.
I am so pleased to announce that Irene will be posting her first guest host piece this coming Thursday, September 2nd.
This is a rare opportunity for all of us – as readers, we can connect with a poet after our first reading of her work, while Irene can read our immediate reactions, and interact with us. In the middle of a global pandemic, this is probably the safest way to stage a poetry reading.
With the considerable time difference between the U.S. and Nigeria, she may not be with us right away to comment, so check back later in the day if you can.
Please give a truly warm welcome to Irene, and be sure to tune in on Thursday for what I hope will be only the first of her guest posts.
Here are the pair of companion poems which she sent to me.
by Irene Fowler
The envy of the queen bee, christmas beetle and lady bug
Dazzling, astonishing, iridescent patterned wings
Showcase an array of otherworldly, vibrant, rainbow colours
Nigh impossible to be matched by wizards of the paint brush and canvas
Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh and Rembrandt
Each in reverent awe of the inspiring celestial splendour
Every butterfly, a work of perfection; poetry in motion
Ethereal, ephemeral beings, bejewel an azure, sunlit sky
Stars of the daytime sky, meekly paraded before a riveted audience
A sight for sore eyes of pure, naked, stunning glory.
Nature’s winged royalty; a rags-to-riches tale for the ages
Eclipsing Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and The Ugly Duckling
From a lowly, nondescript, crawling caterpillar
To a comatose sack of goo, bereft of appeal or promise
Imprisoned In the dark coldness of a watery dungeon
Escaping predation from spiders, toads and rats
Ultimately, bestowed the gift and power of purpose, beauty and flight
Freed to frolic forever; gaily gracing nature’s queenly flora
Dahlias, orchids, tulips, roses and marigolds, open their petals in tribute
Butterflies, liberated to embrace a
charmed, sun-kissed life
Tokens of life’s hidden, enigmatic mysteries.
Martin Luther King Jr., Malala Yousafzai, Nelson Mandela, Harriet Tubman, Martin Niemoller, Rosa Parks, Mahatma Gandhi, John Lewis
Lives marked by dejection, degradation and danger
Exemplars of self-sacrifice, humility and agape-love
Mankind’s true nobility; champions of the oppressed and downtrodden
Souls transformed through intolerable suffering and pain
Amidst tumultuous, lonely journeys of self-denial and self-discovery
Pilgrims, travelling through their personal Via Dolorosa
Every step of hurtful surrender, leading to the mountaintop of victory
Ascending on winged chariots of fire
Each glimpsed a universe of beauty, harmony and justice
The world awaits those who will similarly dare to dream
Taking a resolute, revolutionary, stand for the collective good
Time; a dwindling, precious, costly commodity
For humanity and planet earth
Both on tenterhooks.
© 2021 by Irene Fowler
by Irene Fowler
They came for the media, the outspoken, the sceptics and the simply curious
But I just kept my head down and took care of my family
Us four and no more.
They came for the flora, fauna, atmospheric layers and oceans
But I am neither foliage, animal, ether nor water
They came for voter enfranchisement
But I don’t exercise my right to vote, I just go with the flow of election results
They came after egalitarianism, diversity and socio/economic justice
But none of that concerns me, I say ‘hi’ to folks of every stripe
In addition, I belong to the local chapter of the Rotary Club
They came after history, rewriting and romanticizing epochs and events
North-American slavery was benign, benefitting dehumanized, human chattel
Events of 1/6, were merely a love fest, and a day of normal tourism to Capitol Hill
But I was unconvinced that the insurrection was a mortal danger to democracy
Believing instead that we should be looking ahead.
Then they came for me
Summoning the courage to use my platform to protest authoritarianism
Alas, gripped by recurring images of the zombie apocalypse
Paralyzing me with confusion, fear, despair and defeat
Awakening in a beautiful, lush, colourful garden
Teeming with butterflies, honey bees, beetles and yellowjackets
Taken over by zombies…..I was one.
© 2021 by Irene Fowler
Common Buckeye Butterfly
If you missed the first post of Irene’s poems, click: https://flowersforsocrates.com/2021/08/09/tcs-a-call-for-change-from-nigeria/