ElAnt v1n4 - POETRY - Ulysses, A Butterfly

Volume 1, Number 4
September 1993


Lyn Wilson,
Dept. Greek, Roman and
     Egyptian Studies,
Monash University,
Victoria 3168,
e-mail: c/- antiquity-editor@classics.utas.edu.au

Did you know
that just a touch
of a warm sweaty hand
might dissolve this butterfly
into myriad dust-motes, 
5,000 tiny scales of blindingly iridescent tracery?
That even in close airy spaces,
forests where wing-shaped leaves
flutter thickly under a sun-struck canopy, 
an imago may shine only for fifteen days? 

Into this deep green underworld, 
where vines wrap heavy curtains around tree-poles,
and lianas that tracked the sun
end coiled in endless circles on a floor crawling with baby-flesh,
ferns and saplings, two travellers flitted, freely. 
Tip-touching with 
words, lips and fingers, they grew
between them a butterfly love,
irresistible as the swirl of a mountain stream, as brief and bright as 
Ulysses' wing-span. 

But even odysseys must end. At home,
weaving a net sparkling with tears and fidelity, 
a wife waits impatiently to fold Ulysses in her arms, 
back into a bed spliced craftily to a stout tree. 
With words as subtle as silk, as patterns on 
blue wings, she draws him near. 
Doesn't she know that one touch
of her hands might enshroud him
in a pale chrysalic web,
that a butterfly love flutters incandescently round his heart? 

Lyn Wilson
e-mail: c/- antiquity-editor@classics.utas.edu.au

COPYRIGHT NOTE: Copyright remains with authors, but due reference should be made to this journal if any part of the above is later published elsewhere.

Electronic Antiquity Vol. 1 Issue 3 - August 1993
edited by Peter Toohey and Ian Worthington
ISSN 1320-3606