Friday, February 7, 2014

Monarch Journey



Poetry Friday is being hosted today by Renee LaTulippe at No Water River.  Because I've been getting updates through email about Journey North for the past few days, and I read Michelle's Poetry Friday post on Today's Little Ditty, I decided to go with a monarch butterfly poem today.
My class used to do a Monarch butterfly project with Mexico.  You can find information about the Journey North program here: http://www.learner.org/jnorth/monarch/spring2014/update020614.html
The program involving school communications starts in the fall and picks up again in the spring.  Lots of good information on their site about the overwintering and the numbers of monarchs spotted.  Classes can send in Monarch sighting reports at any time though, to help with the tracking of these beautiful butterflies.
In years past the children of Mexico used to kill the butterflies, thinking that the butterflies were destroying the trees they covered when they wintered there.  That activity has stopped, but the butterflies are still decreasing in number.  The monarch population is dwindling, but there are things that can be done to help their survival.

Monarch

Milkweed pods erupt
Silky parachutes
Carry precious seeds
Spreading far their roots
Broken milkweed stem
Bitter milky bleed
Justifies the name
Of this humble weed
Monarch lays on leaves
Of this gracious host
Clear cream beads beneath
Overlooked by most
Eggs erupt to find
Food beneath their feet
Shelter from the rain
Shade in summer heat
End of summer brings
Needs for changing ways
Wrapped in green and gold
Metamorphing days
Chrysalis erupts
Wings, not parachute,
Strong for precious miles
On an un-flown route.
Monarch butterfly

At the journey’s end

You have earned your gold

Battered regal friend

13 comments:

  1. I am a big fan of rhyme/near-rhyme - and you've worked it beautifully here.

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  2. Well done, Donna! Impressive how you are able to fit in so much information while flowing seamlessly. Especially love the powerful descriptive phrases: "bitter milky bleed" and "battered regal friend."

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    1. Thanks, Michelle. I'm so glad I stopped by your site first. Monarchs were on my mind because of my continued contact with Journey North, and then when I saw your link - well, it just had to be even though I posted late.

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  3. Fabulous poem, Donna. These butterflies never cease to amaze me. I used to live near Monterey Bay in CA and the butterflies have a stronghold in that area as they migrate. I love your lines:
    "Eggs erupt to find
    Food beneath their feet"
    Mother nature is pretty amazing for providing what is needed to perpetuate a creature. Thanks for sharing. =)

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    1. I hadn't realized until I did work on the Monarch butterfly project that Monarchs on the west of the Rockies migrated to another location than those on the east. Very amazing life cycle.

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  4. I like "battered regal friend," too, and "Strong for precious miles/On an un-flown route." How horrifying that children would kill the Monarchs, thinking they were hurting the trees!

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    1. It was sad that they were killing the Monarchs, but through this educational program the people at the migration spots have learned how this is an important part of their life cycle and that they are not damaging trees. They were only doing what they thought was good...unfortunately it was not good and unnecessary for the trees' health.

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  5. Gorgeous.

    Have you read Barbara Kingsolver's FLIGHT BEHAVIOR?

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    1. Thanks! And no I have not read Flight Behavior. I'll have to take a peek!

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  6. I'll have to tell my daughter about Journey North. She teaches 4th grade and would love to read about the project. She just finished Flight Behavior and she loved it as much as I did. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. LOVED this poem. Endangered species and what we're doing to our planet in the name of progress about kills me. Nicely done, not too preachy (I hate that, btw, even when I agree) and just a lovely picture of their role in our whole "machine."
    Thanks for your sweet comment at Life is Good!

    Tina @ Life is Good
    A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014
    @TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

    P.S Joining us? Best adventure in Blogland...

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