Camberwell Beauty

Camera out, you stalk
a mourning cloak,
avid as a book thief

for that two-page
spread of darkness
glowing in the leafless woods,

you and the butterfly—
both quick to fly but loathe to leave.
And edged in light.

Series Navigation← MigrantsLotic →


  1. wonderful. I want this series of poems to go on for ever, but nothing does…


  2. This one is really fine (and a wonderful companion during my lunch just now).


  3. Thanks, all, for the comments. According to the Wikipedia, “Camberwell Beauty” was named for a district of London where the butterfly was first spotted, thought to have ridden in on loads of timber from Scandinavia, and to this day the species doesn’t breed in the UK but strays in from other parts of Europe where it’s native. Nevertheless, as a trans-Atlantic native, it has a certain resonance for me.

    Jean, I’m going to try to continue the series for a little while longer, at least. “Toward Noon” might also chronicle the year’s progress toward summer, I’m thinking. Thanks so much for your enthusiasm.


Leave a Reply