Tuesday, August 16, 2011

And the butterflies began to sing

The painting is the work of Surrealist painter Max Ernst. He's best known for his collage pieces, taking parts of 19th century works and creating something new entirely. He was a thinker and never led anyone too close to why he did anything leaving the work up to one's imagination. I found him recently in a book I wasreading and the caption under the painting read:

And the butterflies began to sing

The scientists don't really know why moths are irresistibly attracted to light, and they remark lamely that the insect's response "suggests that it has some biological meaning for these animals." But at least they now know that moths migrating at night can navigate by the moon and if there is no moon, by the stars. Pliny had some very curious and obscure reflections on the subject:

The month that is seen fluttering about the flame of a lamp is generally reckoned in the number of noxious medicaments; it's bad effects are neutralized by the agency of goat's liver.

And I found this which is amazingly wonderful:


Set yourself an hour at least when you start reading her blog you won't be able to stop, fascinating woman.

The whole concept of the moths flying around the flame is dangerously exciting. Langston Hughes knew the power of the attraction of flame:

The gold moth did not love him
So, gorgeous, she flew away.
But the gray moth circled the flame
Until the break of day.
And then, with wings like a dead desire,
She fell, fire-caught, into the flame.

And my contribution to the ever burning desire of moths and flames and love and the ending of summer the preparation of what is frozen and ungiving and what will seen in February unending...

Summer is dwindling and soon the summer bugs will be quieted with a blanket of dead leaves and I will miss them
When the temperatures are too cool I will look for their blazing glory the moths
circling the lamp's light
as they teach us how to love how to let go of the intellectual fight
to give in to the dance
to turn our face to the light
and resist what we know is true of love
of the attraction that turns a passing fancy to the clutches of want
to just let the flame touch you a little
as you brush shoulders
to absorb the warmth to believe it was only burning for you
for this very moment
burning brightly for a hundred years hoping you would find him here
and that you'd have the strength to let go
flying a little closer
the dance would make you dizzy even drunk with desire
and ordinary complications of life left
drowning in the mire their voices barely audible
under your laugh
under your sigh
beneath the clicking of your thinking tongue
that beautiful instrument of fire

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