When humans begin to play
in the workshop of the Mother,
we cheer at the fireworks
and admire our reflection
in the miracles we have wrought.
She welcomes her co-creators,
but how proud we are
to loosen the strings
and toddle away.
It’s easy then
to mistake a warning shot
for the starting gun
and take off in a carbon-fueled race to the stars.
Few notice when winter snows come late
and monarchs lose their way.
Hungry engines keep boring,
while tinkering fingers slide up the double helix.
What shape waits then in the milkweed seed,
and who will hear the cries
when caterpillars stop turning into butterflies?
Title from “What to Remember When Waking” by David Whyte
Written upon learning that monarch butterflies will likely be extinct in twenty years.
Image courtesy of Kenneth Dwain Harrelson