Writing poetry

I said to the olive-backed sunbird
And the marbled lime butterfly
As they fluttered into the blue:
I want to write poetry
Because I want to fly with you
Past rosy clouds lined with gold
Shadowed with violet, and see
The world as a gleaming beetle
Held in the palm of my hand.

I cried to the leatherback turtle
As it waddled into the waves
With a splash:
I want to write poetry
Because I want to swim with you
Beneath the chattering surface
To the still cool of deep
Where far-off whale-song chimes.

But the earthworm spoke to me
As it slithered up from the soil:
If you want to write poetry
You must come down with me
Through moist stinking earth
That you will recoil from, then realize
That this is your skin, sinews, bone,
Your very thoughts and soul. Ghosts
Of bones of small creatures, insects
And snails whose furled shells are precious
As seashells, or stars, will whisper their stories.
You will weep at the beauty
Of laced skeletons of leaves.

Then it asked me
If I would like to follow it.

 

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