Natural philosophy

Natural philosophy

On the footpath
           in the garden yesterday
a butterfly settled
           its wings raised
so that only
           the dark underside showed

At first I had mistaken it
           for a leaf
but though there was
           a gentle breeze
the butterfly did not move
           not even the slightest tremor :
it stood its ground
           for ten minutes or more
and I wondered whether
           this was not an extravagance
to idle away
           such a stretch of time
given the brevity
           of its life

But there perhaps
           was the lesson it was
unwittingly there
           to deliver to me
and to you dear reader
           without a care in the world

John Lyons


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