Dark Compassion

Large Butterfly

This is a butterfly that I saw in a national park near Gramado, south Brazil. It was huge, the distance from wingtip to wingtip being about 20cm.

Dark Compassion

A hole, so deep
A dark, so midnight black
A soul, lost, forgotten…alone
Alone, alone, alone

A hole to hide in
A dark compassion
A soul afraid to leave
the comfort found within
Safe, safe…alone

A hole to fly from
A dark place lighted
A soul, brave, bathed in new light
stretches tired wings
A moment’s hindsight
for the blind safety left behind
Not safe…not alone

Me 22.10.08 (before I became the gringa)

This poem was written during a very difficult time in my life. When I wrote it I was just beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, the end to a period of unrest and confusion. I had carved out a new life for myself, a new identity in many ways. I was so hopeful for the future, but also, still feeling somewhat mentally scarred from the past.


Posted on April 22, 2011, in Critters, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. I will share this with my husband. I think you know why.

    *Big hugs* to you.

    • Hello there! 🙂
      Yes, do show him. I think the emotion I was feeling then is still quite evident in the writing. It would be the greatest honour to think that other people in difficult situations could also find some meaning in it.

  2. Wow! Your poem is so evocative that I felt you all the way through it, if you know what I mean. I have been there. The image of the butterfly the symbol of transformation is a perfect companion visual. Thank you.

    • I was shy about sharing the poem with anyone at the time. I didn’t want to admit to people just how emotional I was (the old, british stiff-upper-lip) and I tried very hard to keep my feelings hidden.
      I’m very touched by your comment – to know that other people can feel the emotion in it makes me so pleased that I was finally brave enough to post it.

  3. midaevalmaiden

    This poem is fantastic. “Not safe – not alone” I really liked it. It reminded me of a Native American story I loved about a mouse paralized with , who once he conqured his fear of halks.. he became a halk himself and flew free. It was a story that helped me overcome my own ‘butterfly fear.’

  4. midaevalmaiden

    It’s called, The story of Jumping Mouse

  5. Beautiful picture and poem.

  6. There is a lot of power here. I’m noticing the concentrated impact of few words, and I hear self-restraint. This combination really lets the feeling underneath emerge unmistakeably. I love this poem, I find it very fine and encouraging. I have wondered greatly, and explored for a long time with varying degrees of success in my own eyes, how on earth I can express intensity in a way that’s authentic, but still can be taken in by others. I have found this very challenging — but tremendously rewarding when the sweet-spot gets hit, as here. Kudos to you dear Eleanor!

    • Thank you so much. I think that if I’d sat down to intentionally write a poem it wouldn’t have worked. I was at work at the time and I knew that if I couldn’t get my mind clear, I couldn’t work. So I started making a list, just to get my thoughts onto paper. As I was writing I realised that some of it sounded a little poetic, so that lunch time I re-wrote it and…Ta da! As a teenager I used to write a lot of poems and stories, but I lost the habit at some point. I’d forgotten how much it can help unclutter and re-focus the mind.

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