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Insects in Poetry: Rise Like Butterflies: A Poem for Today


Tim Truzy is a poet, short-story author, and he is currently working on several novels.

(Tiger Swallowtails) Watching butterflies can remind us of our innocence.

(Tiger Swallowtails) Watching butterflies can remind us of our innocence.

Getting Butterflies

I enjoy watching butterflies when they come my way. It’s a springtime blessing. They flit and flirt about, finding nectar and putting on a spectacular display of colors. As a child, I would chase them through my parents’ garden and sit and marvel at them in the meadow near our house. Occasionally, I would manage to hold one for a few moments. I was always nervous, but the butterflies in my hand ran off those butterflies in my stomach.

Today, I can still experience the serenity brought on by the presence of these gorgeous creatures. Near my home there is a collection of butterflies brought from across the world. At the N.C. Life and Science Museum in Durham, nothing is more pleasurable than watching these insects as they speed from plant to plant or lazily go about their business. We have been there when the museum workers released new residence at the butterfly house, and the children near us were ecstatic, much like I used to be. I applauded when a few children were able to convince some of the butterflies to land on their shoulders or even in their hands. Indeed, butterflies inspire feelings of freedom, calmness, and innocence with their roaming.

Below is a poem dedicated to these fantastic creatures. However, I also dedicate this poem to the poet and caring soul, Dr. S. Gorski, who joined us at the butterfly house and has extensive knowledge about these insects. As always, Lori did a spectacular job with the photos. May we all “Rise like Butterflies!”


(Painted Lady) Butterflies are fascinating and fun to observe.

(Painted Lady) Butterflies are fascinating and fun to observe.

Rise Like Butterflies!

Butterfly flapped feeding on fragile flower,

Stalling skyward flight from nectar’s Heaven,

A peace esoteric to those with wings,

My arms upward lifted in tautology.

Diminutive dreams driving delusions,

Circumlocution express desires,

Overruled biological verdict,

Standing feet taking me only higher.

Graveyard men marching respectfully by.

Garden cemetery harvesting bodies,

Gargantuan pasquinade my expense,

Gauche scion of air owes no apologies.

Monarchs gone royalty in flight no more,

Nibble flowers digest wild wind with wings,

Swallowtails prancing glorious gentle breeze,

My hands holding tremble upon these things.

Painted ladies colors’ still tingling,

Swooping, flitting, floating aloft and aloof,

Alarming soft beauty swirling away,

Caterpillars returning confirm truth.

Monarchs compete with other creatures, such as humans, for natural habitat.

Monarchs compete with other creatures, such as humans, for natural habitat.

Palm massaged by your floating soft tickle,

Emperor of empathy extricate,

Tremendous transcendent Empyrean,

Curve raised replace rains cloudless sulphur.

Worries glide effortlessly through your view,

Melancholy flutters to distant meadow,

Sadness seeks sacrificial altar,

And I rise with monarchs to see His Home.

Tiny blue active with life bowdlerize,

Short time to dine and mate before moments gone,

Lugubrious in my meditations,

Like your brief stay can I fly to meet dawn?

Give me the silver of iridescence,

On fritillary happy butterfly,

Venturing the globe and across country,

Telling troubles season is now denied.

Let Mercy be my nectar and passion,

Drinking from a blooming morning glory,

Let Gentleness be my fragrant flower,

Rising aware beautiful butterflies.

(Palomedes Swallowtail) Butterflies can teach us a lot about enjoying life.

(Palomedes Swallowtail) Butterflies can teach us a lot about enjoying life.


(Cloudless Sulphur) Butterflies are interesting insects for many reasons.

(Cloudless Sulphur) Butterflies are interesting insects for many reasons.

Fun Facts About Butterflies

Butterflies are truly fascinating. Although they are prey, a butterfly can camouflage itself by folding its wings. In fact, the scales on the wings reflect sunlight, but the butterfly wings are transparent when the scales are lost as the insect ages. In addition, butterflies live on liquids as adults with nectar being their primary food source. Yet, these insects’ taste receptors are on their feet. Because butterflies are cold-blooded, they require temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit to fly.

However, a butterfly’s life is short. Most of these insects live two to four weeks. The blues live only a few days, but the monarchs may thrive for nine months. As you explore these wondrous insects, I’ve provided some information about the butterflies seen in the photos in this article in order for you to enjoy knowledge about them for a lifetime:

  • Fritillary: These butterflies prefer violets for food. They share their name with a flower, possibly because of the characteristic checkered pattern on both. The name “fritillary” is used to describe several butterfly groups, such as the Gulf fritillary. Another group is known as the great spangled fritillary. Regardless of the different names, these insects can be found in fields, valleys, and even on mountains. They like moist and warm locations. These butterflies are quite plentiful across North America and planet Earth.
  • Monarch Butterfly: This beautiful insect is known for yearly migrations from the United States and Canada down to Mexico. Other common names for the monarch butterfly include: milkweed, black veined brown, wanderer, and common tiger. Although the monarch population has declined, the butterfly is not currently listed as endangered. Yet, scientific estimates indicate approximately 225 million are needed to stabilize the population of these insects. The monarch butterfly is recognized as a useful pollinator; but much of the insects' habitat has been loss due to herbicides. However, the monarch butterfly has been bred aboard the International Space Station.
  • Painted Lady: The painted lady is seen across the globe, except for a few places. It is frequently called the “cosmopolitan butterfly” because of its ubiquitous nature. The painted lady butterfly is part of a family of insects known as “brush foot” butterflies. These colorful insects dine on any number of fruits and vegetables, including oranges, okra, and water melons. During migration, painted lady butterflies can travel about 100 miles a day with maximum speeds of about 30 mph.
  • Swallowtail: The swallowtail butterflies are generally large. They may feed on a variety of plant life, including citrus blossoms. There are over 500 species of swallow tails with names such as: spicebush, black, and birdwing. The swallowtail butterflies are found around the world except for in the extreme northern and southern portions of the globe.
  • Cloudless sulphur: This butterfly is originally from Argentina, but it can be found throughout the southern U.S. During warmer seasons, many of these butterflies are scattered from Texas through North and South Carolina. This insect lays cream colored eggs which change to orange later. As a fully developed adult, the cloudless sulphur is yellow in color. The host for the cloudless sulphur is the pea plant or similar poisonous plants. This insect prefers environments such as parks, woodlands, and yards.


Frost, T., & Davies, A. L. (2017). The little guide to butterflies. London: Quadrille.

Morgan, S. (2019). The world encyclopedia of butterflies & moths: A natural history and identification guide to over 565 varieties around the globe. Wigston, Leicester: Lorenz Books, an imprint of Anness Publishing.

Rabe, T., Ruiz, A., & Mathieu, J. (2007). My, oh my-- a butterfly!: All About Butterflies. New York: Random House.


Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on January 31, 2021:

The presence of butterflies can bring peaceful thoughts to the mind. Sitting on my porch, several butterflies stopped by. My dogs were even quiet and didn’t chase the little guys. All I could think about was how fortunate we had been during this troubling time in the world. I counted my blessings and the butterflies. They quietly left, and I knew winter was coming. Thanks for reading.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on July 31, 2020:

In her 2012 novel, Flight Behavior, Barbara KingsolverDenying uses monarchs as an important part of the plot of the story. The fictional book wonders why these butterflies eventually found their way to Tennessee versus Mexico. There are other fabulous books about these creatures. Take some time to explore. I appreciate your visit.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on July 09, 2020:

We saw butterflies landing near flowers we planted. They did dances and took off. We cheered and smiled. It’s amazing to think these creatures have such a short time to enjoy life. It’s a lesson we should cherish and learn from. Have a great day.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on October 17, 2019:

On cool days, in a colony, butterflies can be seen climbing, trying to find warmth. As it cooled here, our butterflies took off further south. Those that stay become larvae until spring or die. Beautiful and mysterious. Thanks for visiting.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on June 29, 2019:

Thank you, Chitrangada Sharan . May your day be peaceful. Respect and admiration

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on June 29, 2019:

Very nice article and poem, with butterfly as the theme.

Loved your butterfly pictures. Butterflies are beautiful creatures, in all the vibrant and lovely colours. Looking at your fun facts, I wasn’t aware of these beautiful names. Thank You for the information and thanks for sharing this excellent poem.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on June 05, 2019:

We just returned from visiting the western part of our state. Sitting on one of our recently planted coneflowers, a swallowtail greeted us when we arrived. It even allowed a quick photo session. Then, it lazily said good-bye. I love it when they visit. Thanks for reading.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on May 20, 2019:

Today, we went outside and saw several butterflies gathered on our flowers. They were swallowtails, and they were beautiful. Thanks for reading. Tim

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on May 20, 2019:

Thanks, Nell. The red admirals sound interesting, and I will look them up. As always, to a kind writer,



Nell Rose from England on May 20, 2019:

That was beautiful Tim! I loved the poem, butterflys are my favorite. I love them. over here we have Red Admirals, they are gorgeous.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on May 17, 2019:

Thanks, Mark. I appreciate your thoughtful and kind comment. Sincerely, Tim

Mark Tulin from Ventura, California on May 17, 2019:

I’ve seen the Monarch’s migrate. It’s an awesome experience. Enjoyed your appreciation for the butterfly. Truly an amazing insect.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on May 17, 2019:

Hi, Lora, I did receive your comment. I guess right now my system is a bit weird. But thanks for the kind and thoughtful comment. May we rise and enjoy life like those graceful butterflies. Respectfully, Tim

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on May 17, 2019:

Thanks, Mary. I truly enjoyed writing this one. Respectfully, Tim

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on May 17, 2019:

I learned interesting facts about butterflies from your hub at the same time enjoyed your poetry. What beautiful creatures they truly are.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on May 16, 2019:

Hi, Ms. Dora, I've always been fond of the way these creatures remind us to take life only so seriously. My wife and I love their carefree spirit. Thanks for the kind and thoughtful comment. Respectfully, Tim

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on May 16, 2019:

Your poem made us connect with the butterfly so closely that we would learn to love them if we didn't love them before. Thanks also for the scientific facts you provided, making this article an excellent presentation in poetry and in nature.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on May 15, 2019:

Hi, Pamela, we just put up a bird feeder. My wife and I love sitting on the porch swing and watching butterflies and birds as they drop by. Usually, we do that in the morning with a nice cup of coffee. Thanks for the kind comment. Respectfully, Tim

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on May 15, 2019:

Hello, Pam Morris. Living in Atlanta, you probably see a rich variety of these guys flying around. Lucky you. Thanks for the kind comment. Respectfully, Tim

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on May 15, 2019:

Thanks, Louise. I appreciate your comment. They can be fun to hold.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on May 15, 2019:

I have always enjoyed the butterflies, and I love having flowering bushes for them to visit. I have had a Monarch butterfly one my hand many years ago.

I really enjoyed your article Tim, and the poem was beautiful. It is nice to read an article like this in this season as the different birds are visiting our feeder and the butterflies have arrived.

Pam Morris from Atlanta Georgia on May 14, 2019:

Tim, I love reading your poems, your poetry is so elegantly and beautifully written. Butterflies are a beautiful creature, I also love watching them sit on the flowers in my mother flower bed. Thank you for sharing.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on May 14, 2019:

That's interesting information about butterflies, and I love the poem. I love butterflies. They are so beautiful. I have held butterflies before, and it always makes me smile when I do. =)

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