The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Thursday and Mountain Autumn

To a Butterfly
By James Merrill

Already in midsummer
I miss your feet and fur.
Poor simple creature that you were,
What have you become!

Your slender person curled
About an apple twig
Rebounding to the winds' clear jig
Gave up the world

In favor of obscene
Gray matter, rode that ark
Until (as at the chance remark
Of Father Sheen)

Shining awake to slough
Your old life. And soon four
Dapper stained glass windows bore
You up--Enough.

Goodness, how tired one grows
Just looking through a prism:
Allegory, symbolism.
I've tried, Lord knows,

To keep from seeing double,
Blushed for whenever I did,
Prayed like a boy my cheek be hid
By manly stubble.

I caught you in a net
And first pierced your disguise
How many years ago? Time flies,
I am not yet

Proof against rigmarole.
Those frail wings, those antennae!
The day you hover without any
Tincture of soul,

Red monarch, swallowtail,
Will be the day my own
Wiles gather dust. Each will have flown
The other's jail.


gblvr and I met for lunch and bead shopping on yet another unseasonably warm October afternoon. It rained on and off all morning and we were under a tornado watch for most of the day, though my county didn't get the heavy storms and wind damage that hit north and east of us, so I just had to contend with some rain while driving and walking around Kentlands, which I didn't mind all that much because it wasn't the least bit chilly and it made the leaves look even more colorful and shiny. We ate at Moby Dick House of Kabob, which I had thought was Caspian House of Kabob but no big deal, then went to Bead Attitudes and Kentlands Candles & Gifts -- the former is a serious beading store with classes and lots of high-end beads, the latter carrying pretty much no candles these days but thousands of inexpensive, wonderful craft beads where for under $10 I got eight Pandora knock-offs, a pair of lampwork glass turtles, some cloisonne owls, and a few other beads. We also went to Michael's (I figured I should get some tools and earring wires to see if I can make my own) and stopped in the vintage store Lipstick Lounge.

The view north from the summit of South Mountain at Washington Monument State Park.

It was a rather hazy afternoon but we could see the circling biplane very clearly.

The trees were more orange atop High Knob in Gambrill State Park.

I have photos of my kids climbing on these rocks at Gambrill each year since they were very young. I can't believe the older one will be at college this time next year!

These trees are at an overlook above the city of Frederick that served as a Civil War lookout.

Wildflowers were still blooming there and we saw lots of grasshoppers, crickets, butterflies, and moths.

The sun was already starting to set when we got to the ruins at Gathland.

And here is a photo of the sow and one of her piglets at South Mountain Creamery, because OMG CUTE PIGGY.

Paul had discovered that it was Navy Day, so he made navy bean soup for dinner, which we had with some of the cheese we bought at South Mountain Creamery over the weekend. Older son was working on college applications and younger son was working on his blog but we all watched Undercovers together...I keep seeing predictions that NBC will axe it soon because the ratings aren't great, which makes me very sad, but I'm also frustrated because while I love the cast and the premise of the show, the spy plots are really dumb and predictable (can someone please explain to me why for instance the CIA can't make up a credible threat other than the actual, undisclosable crisis -- "There's an Al Qaeda bomb in the fireplace!" -- so they have legal access to an art director's office instead of having to sneak around?). In better news I did learn today that Nikita has been picked up for the full season, yay! We watched enough of the World Series to know that the Giants were blowing out the Rangers in an embarrassing manner, and now we are watching Obama on The Daily Show sounding more defensive than I wish he would; there's a time for making speeches and a time for reaching out, even Huckabee knows that when he's talking to Jon Stewart.

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