Swallowtails trust the little suns
of their eggs to the fronded mother
of milk parsley, to be nursed
in bracteoles fed by hot roots.
The earth writhes, sedge
is marshed and wormed
by the threads of transformed souls.
Water and peat are caustic, together,
they ditch paths for Machaon,
though no herb can heal
some errors of curiosity - but
to look almost becomes the deed
at the very moment
it is committed to thought.
Life wages a war
amongst the reeds, nurtures
the victories of a strong wing,
the long tongues of bees
and the wind sings of their liberation.
The world is old, a swallowtail
shakes off its armour of the dead,
chases the pink of ragged robin
upon the breath expired
over a wetland. The world is old,
it turns on death's reflection,
I looked, and
when I saw myself, finally,
I was a stranger.
Image is of Pysche looking into the box given to her by Persephone in Hades. https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Psyche-Waterhouse.jpg
Other images on Twitter of the swallowtail (Papilio Machaon) amongst others: