“Butterfly”

by zunguzungu

Speed is violence
Power is violence
Weight is violence

The butterfly seeks safety in lightness
In weightless, undulating flight

But at a crossroads where mottled light
From trees falls on a brash new highway
Our convergent territories meet

I come power-packed enough for two
And the gentle butterfly offers
Itself in bright yellow sacrifice
Upon my hard silicon shield.

This is by Chinua Achebe, from 1990, I believe, and there’s an interesting intertext with this poem, which was poetry friday back in december. What can I say, I’m a sucker for Nigerian poems about roads and death and nature and mystical stuff.