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Two Poems: "Flutters" and "Ways to Make a Moth"

Updated on January 8, 2019
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Veronica has had her writing published in several literary journals since 2015. She holds an MA in Literature from American University.


Introduction: "Flutters" and "Ways to Make a Moth"

"Flutters" is poem that marked my angst over the temporal nature of the world. I wrote this poem as an atheist (and a nihilist), shortly before becoming a Christian. It often reminds me of why I need Christ: because without the love of God, the world and all the beauty in it are fated to nothing but death.

"Ways to Make a Moth" was also written before my conversion. This poem was an experiment, based on my observations of a moth on the wall heading towards my lamp, but now I believe it reveals my frustrations during that time: The moth is a butterfly clothed in darkness, searching for the color and light of day. Looking back on it, it seems an apt metaphor for the state of humanity - living in darkness, searching for light and life.

Throughout the poem, the moth is not quite alive, shaped by human hands, still missing something. But by the end, it finds life by letting the light penetrate it fully, breaking through all the emptiness and darkness. Though I wasn't a Christian at the time I wrote it, it's a fitting poem for my later conversion.


a butterfly flutters past my face

and I want to catch it in my net

stop its flight

(end its life)

so I can examine her

pin her wings

on scrap paper

put her in glass

let the dust collect

on her body

so whenever I feel

that all beauty is


I can retrace the fading color

in her winged skin

and feel human again

like when I sit in the sun

and a butterfly flutters past my face


Ways to Make a Moth

In cotton folds of grandma musk

find a caterpillar wrapped in fur

fine and short

for dandelion flight

on a black breeze

Find two small moldy leaves

frayed and softened

made of dead Autumn whipped up

in an abbreviated ant tornado

sweeping an empty parking lot

Make wings that flutter

like a drowsy baby laugh

sucking and snorting

choking with mother's milk

Trace an invisible trail

that flowers and dies

like cracks along a white wall

a wanton route to the meaning of pleasure

Find a bulb, blind and burning

Hold it there until you see

a brown that revels in a spectrum

akin to elusive day

bleeding through night's needlework

like a butterfly blaze

Like these two poems?

These poems and more can be found in my chapbook, At War With the Fireflies. Available on Kindle and in print.

© 2018 Veronica McDonald


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