Goodreads | My Name Is Butterfly by Mary Ellen Ryall – Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists

For some reason, I have not learned how to add a photo to Goodreads. Here is the listing.

Goodreads | My Name Is Butterfly by Mary Ellen Ryall – Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists.

A Mother

A Mother

by Father Keith Mason

As God planned for all creations

In those days of genesis

He Instituted qualities

Of sweetness and of bliss!

God lifted veils of darkness

As He pondered what should be –

As birth evolves through water,

God made one common sea!

To continents HE then gave birth,

He planted trees and flowers;

He gave the earth some animals

And rained some warm spring showers!

When God he finished all that work,

He raised His eyes in wonder –

That His creation, beautiful,

No force aspire to plunder!

He moved the gates of Heaven – in love –

He breathed life to another;

From deep inside His caring heart,

God gave the world – a Mother!

Source: “A Medley of Words,” published by The Joys of Writing Group, Fitchburg Senior Center, 2012

In California During the Gulf War

In California During the Gulf War

Among the blight-killed eucalypts, among
trees and bushes rusted by Christmas frosts,
the yards and hillsides exhausted by five years of drought,

certain airy white blossoms punctually
reappeared, and dense clusters of pale pink, dark pink–
a delicate abundance. They seemed

like guests arriving joyfully on the accustomed
festival day, unaware of the year’s events, not perceiving
the sackcloth others were wearing.

To some of us, the dejected landscape consorted well
with our shame and bitterness. Skies ever-blue,
daily sunshine, disgusted us like smile-buttons.

Yet the blossoms, clinging to thin branches
more lightly than birds alert for flight,
lifted the sunken heart

even against its will.
But not
as symbols of hope: they were flimsy
as our resistance to the crimes committed

–again, again–in our name; and yes, they return,
year after year, and yes, they briefly shone with serene joy
over against the dark glare

of evil days. They are, and their presence
is quietness ineffable–and the bombings are, were,
no doubt will be; that quiet, that huge cacophany

simultaneous. No promise was being accorded, the blossoms
were not doves, there was no rainbow. And when it was claimed
the war had ended, it had not ended.

Denise Levertov

Dan Lewis shared this link on his Blog at

Poet Laureate Honors Veterans with Poetry

Recently I contacted Veterans Writing Project,  Washington, DC, before reading about a writing effort in North Carolina for the benefit of Veterans. I hope to spark interest in writing by Vets, by republishing short poems and articles here. On Facebook I will publish at Butterfly Woman Publishing page.

I though the poem below fits our message of transformation through the wings of the butterfly.

Saint Francis’s Satyr Butterfly

by Joseph Bathanti

All creatures have the same source as we have.

Saint Francis of Assisi

A reclusive small brown butterfly,
white and yellow stigmatic suns

deployed along its wing ridges,
Saint Francis’s Satyr – christened

after the 12th century Italian soldier
and POW turned mystic –

secretes itself, miraculously,
in 10 by 10 kilometers

of the 251 square mile brash
of Fort Bragg – exact coordinates classified –

beyond which – we know this much –
it has gone undetected. Shy, endangered,

preferring anonymity, it hides
in high artillery impact domains –

life often chooses death –
the fires triggered by bombardment.

It wears Marsh camouflage,
resembles in its favored habitat –

blasted sedge and beaver ruins –
a tiny standard issue

Advanced Combat Helmet.
Parsed from the chrysalis,

rent too soon from its dream of living,
the satyr blazes in desperate glory

but three or four days,
in its imaginal stage,

then tenders its life in writ sacrifice.
Its gorgeous numbers dwindle.

The caterpillar has never been seen.
We accept, on faith, metamorphosis.

Joseph Bathanti

“Award-winning poet, Appalachian State University professor and advocate for literacy Joseph Bathanti was named North Carolina’s poet laureate in October 2012, he announced plans to work with veterans to share their stories through poetry.”

Source: Appalachian Today 

“”As Poet Laureate, I find myself suddenly in a position to make something very meaningful happen in North Carolina by serving as a lightning rod to publicize these programs, create a consortium of thought and action among them, and help create a sustainable collaborative model for teaching writing workshops for vets that can be duplicated and delivered anywhere in the state.”

Note: Joseph Bathanti is connected to Veterans Writing Project in Washington, DC., that published a link to the poem at Appalachian Today.

As a published author: I want to assist with a writing project in Fitchburg, MA, for Veterans. I have this Blog and to assist with getting the word out for Veterans who want to tell their story. America needs to know that when  someone serves in the Military, there is often a price to pay in the aftermath of war.  As Americans, we need to support Veterans for the rest of their lives. I speak about connection with Vets and giving our hearts to them. They have made untold sacrifices for our freedom.

I have been pondering the butterfly today. It is amazing that I didn’t know of this species. It resides in North Carolina only and in a very small area.

St. Francis of Assisi satyrs butterfly

St. Francis of Assisi satyrs butterfly

“St. Francis’ satyr, Neonympha mitchellii francisci, is one of the most imperiled butterflies in North America. First discovered in 1983, its range is restricted to Ft. Bragg, North Carolina (NC), where several small subpopulations persist in glades along streams (Parshall and Kral, 1989; Hall, 1993; Hall and Hoffman, 1994).  ”


What an amazing tale. According to “A Pocket Guide to Butterflies and Moths,” the butterfly is inconspicuous,brown color with eye spots on wings. The butterfly has at least one eye spot on their underside. The eye spot acts to deter predators from attacking.  Poor butterfly. Reminds me of the Karner blue that  is also endangered. The Karner blue lives in Upper State New York, Saratoga County, NY, and in Douglas County, WI. Both species live in a narrow strip of land and can’t survive outside of their limited habitat. The satrys butterfly species likes rotting fruit and honeydew.

Veterans Writing Project

Today I attended a Veterans Day Ceremony at O’Neill Hall, Fitchburg Armory, Fitchburg, MA. Last evening I listened to Colon Powell speak about post traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury, at the Nation’s Capitol Veterans Day Honoring Ceremony. I am a Vietnam War Veteran’s widow. My husband died in 2010 of cancer. He was never treated for Agent Orange. I felt powerless to help him. I wish I could have. He never talked about symptoms. I knew that something was wrong. I took many steps in trying to get him help that he denied he needed.

While there, I networked with a veteran from the Gulf War years. I met the Honorable Lisa Wong, Mayor of Fitchburg. I congratulated her for her vision and appreciation and approving a multi-cultural art exhibit on Main Street. It is a positive step in promoting and celebrating  urbanization, art and the citizens and youth in Fitchburg.

I learned about the Veterans Writing Project today on NPR. Then I looked up the site on the Internet. I just joined the group. I am a published author and have a publishing company and active blogs for writers. I am going to explore if I can raise some interest in a Veterans Writing Group in Fitchburg. First I have to learn from the Veterans Writing Project and hope to work through them.

Tomorrow I am going to visit the Veterans Office in Fitchburg and start to explore the posible opportunity with them. I know I could help in this area seeing as I have published two children’s books. I am presently writing a Field Guide for Butterflies.

If you are a Veteran, please let me know if you would like to participate by telling your story through training with the Veterans Writing Group. I have a Blog so your work could reach out to the public. If there were enough veterans, perhaps in time this could lead to a book of your stories. People could better understand their role with veterans if they only knew your story. I never heard my husband’s story, outside of the eight friends that were blown up with him when they were walking down a path or road in Vietnam. My husband Willard H. DeJong was the only survivor. He would never talk about this or any other aspect of his war experience. I knew that he was holding it all inside and I simply couldn’t reach this depth.

I hope I can make a difference with another veteran or veterans. I would consider it a healing experience to be blessed in this way.

Finally settling in Fitchburg, Massachusetts

It has been an ordeal that I don’t ever want to repeat. Cleaning out a house, basement and garage of  a life time of accumulation is enough for anyone to learn the lesson, “Less is Best.”

The computer, phone, printer and copier are all ready to go now. I joined a writers group at Fitchburg Senior Center. They are happy to produce a book of their writings and are satisfied with that. Me, I like marketing and getting my books out to the public. Not sure how long I will spend with the group. I am ordering The Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book, my book, to send to Michelle Darmanin, Australia. She lovingly organized  an event for authors to contribute children’s books for an impoverished school at Viwa Island, Fiji in 2012. I can’t say enough about Michelle and her husband Michael. They have been unselfish in orchestrating the project with contributing authors from not only Australia, but from the United States and other countries also.

Michelle is starting another book drive for other schools on Viwa Island.

Apenisa Rokobaro

Apenisa Rokobaro

“Sharing this post from my FB friend – Apenisa Rokobaro.

“Michele Darmanin…she has done a wonderful job/project in providing books for the Island of Viwa-(Yasawa)…now Michele and her husband and some of her friends are embarking on similar project on a bigger scale…with your help and your friends help,we-(all of us) would hope to donate a book-(or two or three or a box would be greatly appreciated)…that combine would add up,and Michele is targeting some of the Schools in Fiji that has never received any assistance in terms of Library books…kerekere…get your fingers working and ring up your friends or share this post on FB,Twitter,LinkedIn,Google+ or other social networking sites you have your friends in….Vina Du Rixi”

If any of you authors out there write children’s book, you may wish to contact Michelle directly through Facebook. We know that children’s education is what can lead to a better and more successful life. Let’s put our hearts into having a hand in making the world a better place for those less fortunate than ourselves.
Be well Butterfly Woman Publishing friends where ever you are.