Camberwell Beauty

This entry is part 67 of 91 in the series Toward Noon: 3verses

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.

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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. 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.


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