The Caterpillar and the Butterfly, a poem by Terry Astley

Marvel at the array of magical forms in which a caterpillar takes in this poem by North East poet and naturalist, Terry Astley.

Oh! What are you

Fat Caterpillar?

Munching, Nibbling juicy leaves

Till hunger then is satisfied.

Are you a magician in disguise?

That cleverly constructs

a strange cocoon

Wherein you become a milk soup.

What Alchemy is this?

That then transforms

The contents of the chrysalis

Into a creature so divine,

So fine in form,

So delicate,

That takes to wing

In giddy, joyful, fluttering flight,

As though intoxicated by the very air.

Oh humble, wriggling caterpillar

I see it’s true.

You are a creature full of mystery,

Magician in disguise!

Your magic is revealed to me,

In this emergence of the butterfly.

Terry Astley, 2018

About the author

Terry lives in North Fenham with his wife Brenda. He is interested in all aspects of natural history, but his main interest is geology. He is getting more interested in botany as he regularly attends the Midweek Botany Group outings.

Terry started writing poetry after he had retired, when on holiday in Skye, and the wonderful scenery inspired him to put pen to paper. He has continued to write poems about the natural world ever since and often reads one to the botany group when they are having lunch during their outings. He was very pleased earlier this year, when one of his poems was included in the recently published book: A Journey in Landscape Restoration Carrifran and Beyond.