Satin Moth (Leucoma Salicis - Lymantriidae)


Silence for the ghost of silence;
in pitch dark, I find a white-winged moth
at rest where I was sleeping just a while ago;
her wings, where mine would be; soft brilliance,
perfect moon on a quiet river, spotless lint,
traced with veins of mistletoe.


Defiant Lymantriide,  you advertise,
against the protocols of camouflage,
flaring, pristine, rebellious in the night;
stealing into my dream on soundless wings
to taste the obscure chemistries we share
with poplar, or the willow leaf.


I cup her out into the warm night,
then lie awake, considering the metaphoric
significance of ordinary things; the hundred
thousandth possibility of meaning: the Zen
of white, of black, of the night messenger:
Stillness for the ghost of stillness.



This poem was first pubished in ‘Other Poetry’ Series 4 No.2
and subsequently in

‘The Best British Poetry 2011’ –Salt Poetry Press August 2011