Download this poem as a PDF file.


I’m to be a butterfly
-a thing of beauty,
–  a creature of freedom
–   just now crawling in great weakness
– from my chrysalis
– freeing myself from a past container,
becoming a new creature,
– quite different from both the previous caterpillar
– and the chrysalis so seemingly dead,
– the passive link between them,
a dead self no longer essential for life.

This new weak being that I am, is struggling to reach the light,
– to be free from the previous existence’s limitations
– but able now to enjoy the same air,
–  surroundings and circumstances with new vision.

Don’t take my struggle from me
Or my wings would be withered
– and I’d be a cripple who would never fly
– and to fly is my longing,
– to be free and exhilarated, vibrant with energy
– to fly and be joyous,
and to dance with many others of rainbow hued gossamer
– bodies of light.

But be with me that I may not be alone in my struggle
– but may know that there is something
–  beyond the agony of the moment,
–  something that gives the struggle hope and value
–   a living proof to me that I too may indeed be whole and free
and strong and loving and alive,
able to dance in the light and shade,
– wafted by the breezes and yet in control,
–  by a slight easy movement of the wings,
–  or a shift of the thistledown body
of the direction of life.

I watch those already free,
finding the changing thermal conditions
– not to fight against but to use,
– for speed,
–  for movement,
– for freedom,
– for exhilaration,
for life in the splendour of just being.
My shell has cracked from both pressure within
–  and pressure without
–  and the outside world both beckons and frightens.
I am so small and vulnerable.

I creep to my head into the light
–  pushed by pain
–  and coaxed by warmth
– I watch from the doorway of my prison
and try to imagine these damp
and flaccid rags that drag at my sides
– spread wide
– to become glistening wings of power
–  to lift me to freedom.

I struggle against the brown and shrivelled bonds of death
– that hold me so fast and, with each agonized ‘snap’
– there comes a surge of new life
– through the veins that strengthen my wings
a tingling of anticipation of the joy of the freedom to come.

Despite my present being’s helplessness and ugliness,
–  one day I shall be free
– to BE as LOVE and LIFE intended.