Questions for a Monarch

Your black, white, and yellow body
crawls slowly, deliberately, along the surface of the leaf,
head bobbing, mandible munching semicircles
along the edge of the milkweed blade.

Do you know of the oyamel fir that awaits you
as you attach yourself to a branchlet
and begin to ooze a gossamer veil around your fuzzy body?

Does your spinning portend death
as you curl your body upward and exude
the final thread of your silky shroud?

Are you aware of the adventure that summons you?

Do you feel the force trembling within the membranes of your cells
that will set you on the path of becoming a king?

Can you refuse to knit your chrysalis of kingly potential,
content to live a brief life on a milky weed?

Perhaps you have no choice but to surrender
to the wild urge within you.

Will I go so instinctively, so willingly?
Do I have the courage to spin
a chrysalis at my final breath
and step across the threshold that separates

my soul from its regal inheritance?

Am I willing to weave that final silky thread
around my earthly frame and morph into a winged creature
soaring with other monarchs to my royal home?


NOTE: Look for our giveaway of David’s book of poems “A Heart on Fire” on April 11th, 2019.

After closing his practice of 35 years in 2011 as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and with the publication of his first collection of poems, “A Heart on Fire, Poems from the Flames,” in 2014, David C. Weiss has been devoted to writing poetry and leading workshops for new poets. He is on the faculty of OLLI College at the University of Southern Maine and a visiting instructor of poetry at Sera Jhy Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in South India. David plays the “shakuhachi,” a Japanese end-blown bamboo flute used by monks of the “Fuke” school of Zen Buddhism in the practice of “suizen” (blowing meditation). He earned his Master of Theology and Ph.D. in Pastoral Psychology degrees from Boston University. You can follow David on his website.

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