Butterflies Can Surf

Butterflies Can Surf (for new collection)
    by Douglas Gilbert

Distinctly I remember
waiting for the show
at the little creek
where blossoms fall on
floating ice cream sticks

I remembered how butterflies landed on
these flowers on stick boards to
surf over the mini-rapids.

I have learned many
creeky things for you in dreams
and I know that

when sorrow
goes surfing on your tears
I will wipe it out

10 thoughts on “Butterflies Can Surf

    1. Great that you like the ending. I am always a little hesitant to use allusions to slang or near-slang terms. But I suppose many have heard that when you fall off a surfboard it’s called a “wipeout” [I’m sorry I only just analyzed it now (I originally didn’t think about it but just did it) because in trying to look up the definition there seems to be a dispute about whether it should be, “wipe out,” wipe-out,” or “wipeout”. I think my oldest paper dictionary has two words, the less ancient one has a hyphen, and the latest has one word. I think there was a fad for awhile to take out all hyphens. I don’t know why they did that. There are quite a few that are quite startling without the hyphen. I can’t remember at the moment the worst examples. But I’ve just noticed now that a person who repairs barrels is a “cooper.” I think it’s archaic by now, and a good thing too because they wouldn’t be able to form a club or business that they’d call a cooper-ative. And if the cooper ate spoiled food he wouldn’t be inclined to cooperate with the barrel inspection authorities. They’d have to co-op….

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love your sense of humor and fascination with words. I’ve read this poem four or five times now and I reckon it’s brilliant. It’s clarity, specificity and compassion give it muscle while keeping it gentle. I have written it in my notebook as an example of how to write a good poem. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much.
          Yes, it’s my art. I usually start with a photo I’ve taken and distort and change the colors and draw on it or use the air brush tool and cut and paste pieces of abstract images I find.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well that’s absolutely amazing!! Wow… I am super impressed. I feel you should put something like “image by the author” or something like that on them, but you know best. They are really great, and I love that they have a distinctive style. Also this poem is really really lovely! Every line a bit of beauty. Funny, the line that in my memory remains most sticky: “I have learned many / creeky things for you in dreams” – very original concept!
        Thanks for having checked out my blog… very nice to find yours in return. :))


        1. Thanks. Maybe I should. I’ve only been putting a name on the art when it’s NOT mine — all the others are mine by default. But I’ve been reluctant to put my name on some that are incomplete or ugly. Sometimes I can’t fix one that I’m not satisfied with and I don’t want to waste more time making it worse. So since I just need something to go with the post, I just leave it unfinished and hope that the next one comes out better. I did put a notice on the title pages of my books that the covers are by me. Unfortunately some of the book covers don’t have enough contrast and don’t look professional and are not really relevant to the content. Oh, I did put my name on some of the animations — but unfortunately they’re crude and flat because I don’t have enough photos from enough angles to guide me. I can’t draw anything from scratch. I suppose I need to learn how to make shadows to get more depth. I doubt I can learn that.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Wow you are hard on yourself. None of these imperfections will be noticed by most of us since all we see is what is shown, not the version in the dream. Totally relate though… the common self-sabotaging (or necessary for growth) struggle. I do the same types of things… Keep writing and arting. It’s really amazing!!!


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