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How did they do it, those long-
distance lovers of old, waiting
months for a letter to make
its way by sea?
And when it did, oh the slow
parsing of its every word!
Onion-skin paper
like a bed of salt.
Cursive writing
like Jonah’s gourd vine,
the work of a single night.


I shot the footage of a question mark butterfly on my right hand left-handed (obviously) while preparing to post to The Morning Porch. The “Caravan” mash-up is by electro-swing maestro Mick Kelly, AKA Ecklecticmick, on Soundcloud (Creative Commons Attribution licence).

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).


  1. This gives me goose bumps! A visual reminder of the incredibly gentle yet clearly discernible stroking of proboscis and antennae and syncopated touch of feet.

    Having read the Wikipedia article on the question mark butterfly I wondered whether the rather battered specimen which landed on me was a winter form while your shiny exemplar might be a summer form?

    I’ve also just discovered that butterflies have taste organs on the ends of their legs (do they have “feet”?) which trigger the uncoiling of the proboscis on a food source. Wow.


    1. I wondered whether the rather battered specimen which landed on me was a winter form while your shiny exemplar might be a summer form?

      That’s quite likely, yes. And sure, butterflies taste with their feet. I was also struck by the velvety appearance of the question mark’s body — I suppose that might come out better in the HD version, which I haven’t looked at.


      1. It hardly seems fair – not only can they fly but they can also dance around in a savourverse. However you’d need, of course, to be able to fly, if you were plonking your feet around the streets of London. Some of the savours would be distinctly unpleasant. To me at least. But then maybe that’s why I wear big clod-hopping boots.


        1. …Bearing in mind, of course, that what we consider unpleasant and what a butterfly considers unpleasant can be too very different things. (“Mmmm. Fresh horse piss!”)


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