Mourning Cloak


A mourning cloak on a cool morning
on a walk through the cemetery.
It is quiet but for whispered prayers.

She touches a headstone in the sun.
Her yellow skirt escaping the dark cloak.

top view

Nymphalis antiopa, the mourning cloak, is a large butterfly native to Eurasia and North America. The immature form of this species is sometimes known as the spiny elm caterpillar which has a toxic substance in its hairs or spines that can cause a very painful reaction if you touch it,

These butterflies have a lifespan of 11 to 12 months, one of the longest lifespans for any butterfly.

My Octopus Dreams


Sleeping octopus — possibly dreaming. Image: Sylvia Medeiros / NPR

This month my dreams have been short
and with changing colors – like octopus dreams –
or what we imagine they are doing.
Both of us underwater, drifting, and trying
to wrap our arms around something stable.

More on octopus dreams