Issue Thirty-Six - Summer 2020


By Rich Ives

No Cloud but Only the Promise of a Cloud
Hedgerow Hairstreak Butterfly

We were employed by Ceonothus to remove its edible parts. We worked in the open forest brushlands, stained from the top down a deep red-brown. Even on the undersides we turned a pale gray-brown with an irregular transverse white-edged black line from our uniforms and a faint blue spot at the base of our new tail flanked by two black spots.

The annoying sunshine had a very long summer flight period. We studied its pale green offspring. Their funerals were often premature.

I shouted good will to my rejected friends. I whispered retractions.

The confusion began to seem desirable. It reduced the blame, but as soon as I knew this, it stopped.

The translator had failed to identify either the original or the translated language. Neither of them was from my world. Not yet.

Dark chocolates were being awarded to the most volatile lovers, especially the ones who had appeared alone, and I noticed that they always devoured them immediately, never offering the prize to another.

I wanted to go back where I started, but the Ceonothus had completely covered my former lover, so I translated a few more of the edible parts, and her wrist appeared. I selected the parts I thought related to the hand, but an ankle appeared, and I realized I was no longer hungry, merely going through the motions and finding myself far more satisfied than I was worthy of.

The Iron Fence
Henry’s Elfin Butterfly

We could not go out, and we could not go in above the dark grayish-brown with its reddish scaling, especially upon the female, who alights upon a twig several feet high. Short tail stumps are usually present, longer in the Florida populations.

The palm tree does not belong here.

The children are red to brownish-green, with lighter oblique side-dashes. They eat flowers and bore into the bruit of blueberries, redbuds, huckleberries, wild plums and Texas persimmons. There is no forward stigma upon the male.

Invitations arrive from the coastal plains, the brushy areas, the acid scrubs, the open forests, the Piedmont Mountains, various pine barrens, barrier islands, and occasionally from damp powerline cuts and other woodland openings inhabiting Quebec, Nova Scotia, Michigan, and Wisconsin, south to Texas and Florida.

The offerings are contained, bicolored below, with deep brown-black bases contrasting with dull yellow-brown and blue-gray outer areas. Prominent rear lobes appear at the bases, and it’s rumored that they were previously tested by the winters, which arrive but once a year.

And still, the palm tree does not belong here.

We could be pushed to the edges because we do not know where the edges are.

Former inclinations were charted long ago, and only the smallest of portions have survived enclosed thanks to the iron railings. Houses had already appeared nearby and sentimentality survived much longer than expected.

The gates are frequently left open.

The gates are not the problem.

The palm tree is not here, but she unfolds the story, as if it were a blanket and the air cool with pending snow that may never actually arrive.

Short Guys with Collars
Hermes Copper Butterfly

Ricky and Rickie are short guys, with spike-like tail collars, dark brown with golden yellow disks and bold black spots always worn as if preceding them and a yellow or orange zigzag on the rear end.

In winter they can be found malingering upon the stems of buckthorn, which lives on steep slopes and gully bottoms, contributing the production of apple green grubs with darker green and yellow-green stripes on their backs to the teeming world. We don’t want to embarrass them, do we? We will be quiet about further developments except to mention the grass-green leaf cylinder they produce with yellow stripes and bars and leave these attachments quietly alone.

Later, on the hillsides and in the canyon bottoms in chaparral and coastal sage scrub, within 100 miles of San Diego, they can be found stealing nectar from California buckwheat. They’re selective miscreants.

Then Ricky collapsed dutching his head on a patient stone. All his ideas fell out, and they made a very small and lumpy soup that Rickie studied to see if there were any cures. or revelations.

The weather roared feebly like a little lion doll, but it was enough to wash them away. The cleansing breezes all scratched their cute little butts and sat upon them, waiting. Did they even know what they were waiting for?

Squash blossoms weren’t really as evident as one assumed, but sufficient squash followed, and the natives devoured them without reference to Ricky and Rickie’s valuable assistance. It’s not a secret, but it’s rare enough because they are, and they may soon become a carefully threatened species.

Sparse recognition lined Ricky’s pathway. Rickie encouraged what little was there. Soon she was teasing the new blossoms with her expert tongue. More grubs. More grubs. Sometimes it can be difficult to appreciate the glorious insistence of children. It doesn’t just wait for you to want what will happen to someone else if you don’t embrace it.

I Really Thought It Was a Deliberate Invasion
Hermes Satyr Butterfly

The mechanical gong ringers on a nearby steeple suggest it’s too late, but Zaron, Pepper and Wesley don’t believe them. They’re still busy overlapping broods year round in these moist subtropical woodlands of southern Texas and even into Mexico. Zaron picks up the slack when Pepper and Wesley tire. Zaron is diligent but appreciative and recurring. His arms seem to be a little more rounded above his dark gray-brown body. He has a bit of whitish over-scaling, crossed by darker lines and a row of six eyespots with light rims and bluish pupils that have fooled many a predator, bitten and eaten and grown back again. He repairs in the evening grasses.

Plough the field, my darlings. Lighten up and lift your desires to the higher plain. Do what must be done a little better. Claim it. Give necessity a more pleasurable fulfillment structure. Who has ever cornered their hat and fallen into memorable history without a little exaggeration? Let’s move that back to the cause and let the effect take care of itself.

Oh Pepper, a heady little walnut of flavoring was he as he crumbled. I believe we’ve met before, said the fallen tree to the dusty road.

And Wesley, the majority of his ideas already carrion, a little horizontal embezzlement leaking back out. That blood boils before it burns.

Government posers all, their lives in a chair, they entertain a red bread of preference and not just a heel of sourdough humping daily necessities. It’s hard to tell a swamp panther from an exotic animated bundle of bee snot from the hidden Ukraine. What do you think those movies have really been about?

An evil mind is various but focused on the circumstantial matter at hand, as it is with bad weather and failing health. Inevitable but not resigned.

One More Variety of Theatrical Sampling
Hermit Butterfly

It’s a high school play and one kid doesn’t understand his light-filled appendage spilling bounty. The director is absent, the windows open. Meadow Rue floating subtle in the still air. Are we really so close to delicacy?

You’ve been educated elsewhere, buttons of inclination that registered cold and certain. A little dragon shit on the hero’s shoes.

There were just a few nitrogen mistakes in the cosmic nunnery of Molly’s perceptions like a younger woman frequently frantic to wash her tears in the fading river and already bursting large with long wings, brown with understated darker spots, and small clusters of glassy spots, her sensitive antennae bent back like a shepherd’s crook.

An oddly shaped yellow table is already demanding a clearing of weather, his head a small closed bowl of seemingly unrelated pond water calling to the woods, thickets, and savannah of southern Texas, Argentina, and Jamaica, wandering occasionally into northern Texas, where he crawls beneath large leaves for protection and shade.

First there is a conversation between steam and a hidden vole. Then Molly’s shoelaces grow insistent, a brighter pink within a cloud shooting small ice-balls and missing though it’s unclear what the target was. The evidence is gone before anything official even arrives.

There’s a man here somewhere, an Ethan I think, legitimatized by a large bowl of tiny license plates. I suppose I’m dreaming, but I can’t prove it. He’s been dead a long time, so his hearing is poor. It’s all so real in the way a dead mouse might imagine it. Not knowing when his death was coming killed him.

The daisies of buttons and small hats, a purple lemonade patter laced with purple lemonade.

I’ve been thinking about Samuel Beckett, but I don’t know what I’ve been thinking about him. There seems to be a play involved, but it’s not one of his in the same way Molly does not yet have any children. Nor was Molly at that moment a variety of nakedness characterized by small clothing samples.

Copyright Ives 2020