The purpose of our own

With wings unfurled
as sapphires, gold and pearls
the butterfly has
no other purpose than its own:
to fornicate and eat
and die.

but yet
the lily offers nectar
to the butterfly
willingly
for no other purpose than its own
and to multiply itself.

Why do you think the butterfly
and bloom are there for you?
Why do you harvest them
with a purpose of your own?

Why do you conquer mountains?
dig for gold and sapphires?
why do you fish for pearls?
when butterflies have wings
for purpose of their own.

And forest are the trees
with skin
a membrane for their veins,
and roots beneath
the weight of feet.

Their voice is that of wind
in purpose of their own
stretching boughs
dividing sky, they
offer dwellings for the birds
willingly
because they’re trees.

but carpenters might see
a way to turn the trunks
to planks; to make a coffin
just for you.

Why do you think the woods
are there for you?
why do you think that
even in your death
their purpose is for you?

Beauty of spring (my own picture)

Beauty of spring (my own picture)


Today Grace offers us the challenge of writing ecopoetry at dVerse, to address ecology and a viewpoint away from a political yet addressing and giving a sense of action needed. I have no idea if I fulfill the requirements. Come and join us at 3 PM EST.

January 25, 2016

34 responses to “The purpose of our own

  1. Thought-provoking. I read an amazing book by Barbara Kingsolver called “Flight Behavior” using the plight of Monarch Butterflies as an extended metaphor for the protagonist. It is fiction, but too close to the truth.

  2. Human beings are definitely an egocentric lot. So often we do think about nature has having some kind of purpose for US rather than having purpose for itself and the natural world. Your last stanza was the clincher of a great poem!

  3. Perfect! No political rants, no lists of ecological horrors, no lectures – just straight forward message in a clean form. We humans think everything is for us, for our use. We forget that when we turn to dust, the trees will still be here. This reads like a text of ancient wisdom. Reading Victoria’s comment, there used to be a mystery of where the Monarchs went every year. Down in south America, this was discovered as the place they migrate. You can find the video on YouTube. Spectacular! Your photo for this is wonderful. Lovely look at spring trees. The last stanza of this questions our attitude and drives home that while we may destroy it, we do not control nature in its natural cycles.

  4. A very poignant and thought provoking write. It makes me wonder and search for an answer, but all I can find is that perhaps we temper and seek to posses nature so much because we struggle to find a purpose of our own (a one that is not consummation and destruction, merely)

  5. What beautiful descriptions:

    “With wings unfurled
    as sapphires, gold and pearls”

    “stretching boughs
    dividing sky”

    What an interesting, unique, and creative consideration:
    “carpenters might see
    a way to turn their bodies
    into planks to make a coffin
    just for you” … I wonder if the pronoun “their” in this passage might truly refer to “carpenters” as the antecedent, in which case, I’m led to imagine these working men using their bodies to form a coffin for the reader. That is either very poetic or very disgusting, depending on who the reader is and whether or not he/she would like to be wrapped up in men, living or dead.

  6. A sterling effort, a gentle diatribe. This will be a hard one for; NO political rant, eco-disasters, lectures–that leaves me with less passion, less truth, less anger. Oh well, once more into the breach, dear friends.

  7. Opening verses are lush with color Bjorn ~ I admire the questions asked as it makes the reader reflect on whose gifts are these for…certainly it is for nature’s sake ~ A beautiful response, smiles ~

  8. sapphires = safe fires … What an incredible way to view wings.

    “the butterfly has no other purpose than its own: to fornicate and eat
    and die” … That’s about what it boils down to sometimes, isn’t it? Thank goodness the lily is there to save the butterfly.

    I love the way you went all pirate at the end (with the planks). 🙂

  9. I’m not sure about the requirements either, but all I know is that you’ve written something so beautiful. I love the title and the way you develop your stanzas. The idea of purpose is so important. Hope we all realize our own for the best.

  10. It’s a good thing to remind humans to ask themselves some important questions but I fear many don’t give a damn…well, that’s obvious isn’t it or our planet and animals wouldn’t be in jeopardy. I loved your poem, Bjorn, and how you showed the interconnectedness of all.

  11. loved what you have said about butterflies and flowers….and the questions are really something that all have to think…but not all do…
    Beautiful!

  12. A calling of sorts to all humans to stop and realize the seriousness of the earth’s plight. Great effect, your emphasis in each stanza of “purpose of one’s own”….to not trample on nature’s own beauty and purpose.

  13. So many wonderful lines here, Bjorn….and as others have said, thought provoking. I especially like “…roots beneath the weight of feet…” This is the essence of it all, right? We must watch where and how we tread on this fragile planet.
    For me the ending….”Why do you think the woods are there are there for you?” and they will provide our coffins in the end….is a wonderful ending….makes the reader connect with the earth in a different way from the ashes to ashes type of thinking….nature shall provide our coffins as we finally sleep.
    Very very well done!

  14. A beautiful poem, Bjorn.
    Particularly liked

    And forest are the trees
    with skin
    a membrane for their veins,
    and roots beneath
    the weight of feet.

  15. Beautifully written and the ending is very apt considering there is so much talk now about how humans can benefit from nature. I know it’s another ploy to protect the natural world but your poem captures that irony.

  16. So bitter sweet…I love the way you offer the purpose of each being and question our purpose…so much truth to this. I really enjoy your picture, too, Bjorn…a glimpse into a place that is intimately known by you.

    Thank you, for sharing. 🙂

  17. You’ve touched on one of the great human flaws – though, in the case of man’s egotistical disrespect of nature’s laws, we may very well be held to account one day.

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