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 Butterfly-Woman-Publishing.com 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).  ”

Source: http://www4.ncsu.edu/~haddad/Publications/articles/Kuefler_et_al_2008AMN.pdf

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.