Exiled like some romanov heir
a lone monarch roams among
milkweed stalks left unscythed
to promote population rebound.

Frost marks the end of sweetness,
a veneer of rime on silver tassels,
journey of ten thousand leagues
beginning merely with a wing flap.

Via natural selection this noble bug
is alert to traces of glyphosate
on the corn flowers, conscious too
of magnetic deflections induced,

not by the age-old polar alignment,
but by smouldering slag heaps and
mobile tank columns apt to scramble
the insect’s grasp of topography.

To join its shrinking cohort in Mexico
offers no relief from human presence
now that eco-pilgrims ascend the path
to gawk at our exuberant fluttering.

Douglas Smith, formerly a teacher of Anthropology at York University, is a homeopathic physician.and author of several books on alternative medicine. It is claimed (although Dissident Voice has no proof of this!) that Doug and his partner grow the best garlic in Haliburton County. Read other articles by Douglas.