The Butterfly of Memory

An extract from my diary of 12th October 2018:

Today, a white butterfly caught my eye as it flew briefly through the tiny garden of our ground-floor flat and as the wee airborne insect fluttered about, I was reminded of an event of many years ago.

It was 1970 and I had just exited the family home in Fitzwilliam Place in Dublin heading towards the city centre. I was on my own and the weather was fine. I remember passing Fitzwilliam Square, an urban haven of greenery, trees and harmony, and as I did so, a white butterfly suddenly landed on my left shoulder. Whilst not breaking my stride, I glanced at this beautiful presence expecting it to fly away at any moment but my impudent yet fine-looking visitor seemed very much at ease on this mobile resting place. 

As a 15-year old boy, I was truly fascinated at what had happened and I did eventually slow down and stopped in my tracks as I couldn't take my eyes off this marvellous interloper still calmly seated on my shoulder. I noticed the outline of its translucent white wings varying in whiteness, its exquisitely-thin body and the two small antennae gently moving to and fro. To and fro. I walked on and I recall an upsurge of happiness inside me as I pondered on why this delicate, tiny creature of the air with gossamer-like wings had chosen me as a new friend; someone to trust.

I wondered if this was an omen of some sort: was I good person or perhaps I might not be a good person and this butterfly was sent as a warning so that I might mend my ways and banish any evil tendencies lurking in my soul. Would I lead a long and happy life, I mused, or would some other pathway be mine? 

My miraculous butterfly remained with me for ages and I felt emboldened with its presence as I left Fitzwilliam Square far behind me. In a way that I couldn't explain, I felt a connection with this new-found companion. I felt happy. Happy.

Then, with a sense of drama to match its exciting arrival, all of a sudden my friendly butterfly flew away and as it faded from my vision, I felt a twinge of sadness that I had lost someone close. I was alone again.

Perhaps, the white butterfly of today just spotted in my compact urban garden was a reincarnation of that Irish winged friend all those years ago. 


483 Hits

Why Seek Ye the Living Among the Dead?


Burn scars are hard to erase. They leave
lasting evidence of trauma and despair.
And yet -- I can't stop looking at them.
When will they heal?  Will I ever see it?


How many years have I watched and waited?
Is there a flicker of hope?  Fire destroys.
In the forest, fire also brings rebirth.
It just takes so long.


There's a spark of life here. There's some color over there.
The Pines are gone but the Aspens know what to do.
They are survivors with roots that protect the future.
Fire is what they were waiting for.



Why seek ye the living among the dead? But they never died.
I'm compelled -- season after season -- to seek the living.
The wounds are healing but it's not the same as before.
But there are some rewards for those who wait.


The Elk are back and know that the forest will return.
It may be stronger than before if given a little time.
On Autumn days it is a sight to behold.
Especially on this cold, cloudy day sputtering snow.


Burn scars are hard to erase.
The Jemez Mountains show muscle and bone
beneath the scar of the old forest. Now a new
and beautiful skin brings life among the dead.


The Home Place — 2018



178 Hits

Frost (A Limerick)

When young Robert went riding his Sleigh

He came to a part in the Way

And like Erwin he Found

No one else was Around

So he took both ways and went Astray.

215 Hits

Seducing seas

Twirling, swirling, spinning and furling … stretching for skies of deep sapphire that dazzle in a virtue only Mother Nature can perfect.

Higher and higher they rise above glowing jetty lights reflecting off soothing, rippling waters , bigger and brighter than sea stars dimpled in ambers and aquamarines with elongated arms of claret, some shorter and regenerating after being lost or damaged. They zap tendrils wisping sensuous, of the jelly fish and butterflies of the sea and eels slithering in tails of ruffled seaweed, longing for that pinnacle of spasmed peak.

Riding the lustre of a full moon, circling round and round until the luminous longing entwines. And grips.

Dance jellies, dance staries; pirouette into the flowing of the butterflies of the sea, slink into cerulean skies.

Flounders skate under the jetty and spring up into spears flashing in arc upon arc as shooting stars streaking light over dark. Banjo sharks, eels and flatheads too, pipis and oysters, the nebulous arms of the octopus … all in a shimmy of sky high.

Suddenly, curiously, from the joy and glee, she appears. Eyes of jet pierce from skin of caramel blended in the clay of earth and ash of the phoenix, a transcendence of ethereal beauty.

It’s her. Queen of the night, Queen of the Quantum. Dark in her shadows yet light in her essence, she is the radiant energy that magnetises, compels to be.

The lure is fierce. Locks. We embrace. We kiss in the flounce of delicate seaweed frills fluttering under a shower of salting sea, the carnival of confetti. The contrast of night and day unite as the yin and yang. We are we.

Eels electrify in zesting iridescence, illuminate in the jewelled transparencies of kelping sea tangle. They entwine with jellies and staries on the languishing limbs of the octopus and swirl into an entwine of water and sky. The interweave of bewitching encircles us in a lime-green filigree as the French lace of the sea.

We’re kyanized, into the heavens of being.

Spirit of Earth, Soul of Sea, a sea spray of yesterday.

482 Hits

Latest Comments

Ken Hartke Telephone Nostalgia
20 January 2019
Ha! That's a new expression for me...thanks.
Katherine Gregor Telephone Nostalgia
20 January 2019
Fair enough. Horses for courses.
Katherine Gregor Telephone Nostalgia
20 January 2019
When you are fortunate enough to correspond with friends who take their time to write e-mails as tho...
Katherine Gregor Telephone Nostalgia
20 January 2019
I don't like Skype or FaceTime, although both can sometimes be very convenient. Butthere is somethi...
Ken Hartke Telephone Nostalgia
17 January 2019
I have never liked using the telephone. Too often it brought bad news and holds some of my most pain...

Latest Blogs

It suddenly occurs to me that it's been months since anybody called our landline.  Except for my mother, of course.  Day after day, when I check the p...
I'm Ivan Musto and today was a strange first for me as I celebrated a near-solitary birthday, my 90th - a milestone, I guess. Let me explain the surro...
Dublin, Ireland Early morning, Thursday 4th February 1960   We’re alone together. Mother and I are sitting at the kitchen window. It’s chilly yet...
I've binned my 2018 New Year's resolutions. Unopened.  They were past their use-by date.  Somehow, they ended up being kicked under the bed or falling...
My new novel The Isand of Always comes out today. It's a sequel to, or perhaps more an extension of, The Marriage of True Minds, whch was published ab...