A wild slim alien


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A butterfly passes in front of me

peacock3

 

A butterfly passes in front of me
And for the first time in the universe I notice
That butterflies don’t have colour or movement,
Just like flowers don’t have perfume or colour.
Colour is what has colour in a butterfly’s wings.
In a butterfly’s movement the movement is what moves.
Perfume is what has perfume in a flower’s perfume.
A butterfly is only a butterfly
And a flower is only a flower.
(5/7/1914)

– Poem XL by Alberto Caeiro (heteronym of Fernando Pessoa), sourced from Fernando Pessoa: Alberto Caeiro: Complete Poems.

Peacock butterfly perching on buddleia, Norwich, August 2016 by awildslimalien.

Previous encounters with peacock butterflies are here and here.

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Breakfast butterfly

Peacock butterfly

That’s a butterfly at breakfast time rather than one for breakfast, you understand. A peacock (Inachis io, and not the first to have featured in these pages) lighted on my arm and seemed happy with where it had landed, staying long enough for my daughter to grab my camera and shoot these pictures.  Settled magically in the crook of my arm for those minutes, the butterfly seemed a blessing, or perhaps a reminder or gift from a muse.

And then as I tried ever so slowly to sit down at the table so that my daughter might better capture it from above with the camera, it took fright and flight and was gone.

Peacock butterfly