Thursday, 4 May 2017

A poem by Nicholas Campbell

Butterfly Scripture

"Inside the butterfly is a scripture."
Graffiti on a wall in San Francisco; ca.1967

Without words the butterfly is
itself. This is what air is, it says;
flicker of wings is all.

However I try to see anything
words come to mind, as now
this butterfly becomes a word.

Yet I see the sky writing a word
that is born out of nature’s mind
as if some emblem of the soul.

Without words nature’s mouth
opens and from it life flies,
transcending even life itself.

Without words the wordless
butterfly is gone,
leaving only our memory of it.

Nicholas Campbell is of Slovak and Scottish descent. He was born in Greensburg, Indiana, in 1949, and attended Catholic and public schools in Indiana and California where he later studied verse writing at California State University, Northridge, with poets Benjamin Saltman and Ann Stanford, and where, in 1984, he earned a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature. He has taught creative writing at the California Men's Colony, for Arts Reach at UCLA, and for California Poetry in the Schools. He has also participated in the summer writing workshops at Cuesta College near San Luis Obispo where he taught verse writing. Recent publications include America: The National Catholic Review ( and Blue Monday Review, out of Kansas City.

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