The book begins with a poem about Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillars, originally part of a sequence. I have retained the two related poems fromthe sequence, and would like to share them here, with a photograph by Ian Parker. The first poem is a meditation on the appearance of the caterpillars, while the second relates to a time when such a caterpillar was brought into my workplace by a young boy.
THOUGHTS ON ELEPHANT HAWK MOTH CATERPILLARS
To me, your onyx bodies,
and striped in browny-grey,
your shuffled shapes of crumpled
and pre-pupal flesh,
suggest space-trawling creatures,
sailing through the wastes
of distant star systems.
JOURNEY OF AN ELEPHANT HAWK MOTH CATERPILLAR
Once, I saw one,
brought into the library I worked in,
like a chubby tube of plasticine,
folded into sluggish chunks,
rolling eyes gaping
at a galaxy of books.
We returned this bundle of
onto the grass outside,
where it wobbingly
wiggled, wriggling instinctively,
escaping into green familiarity.
|Copyright Ian Parker|