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Cabbage Whites

November 23, 2007

cabbage white 3

They must have trekked through the shadeless trenches
Of what had been the rapeseed field, until they came
To the warm-white, smooth, and alien face of the turbine’s stem,
Scaled it some way, and fallen into metamorphic sleep.
You might think, almost, they wanted to be rocked
By the pulse of great white wings, beating above them.

cabbage white 4

by Lucy Kempton

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  1. Michael Nickels-Wisdom
    November 24, 2007 at 11:30 am

    They’re like tiny mountaineering tents on a snow field! With the approach of winter, I feel a kinship with them.

  2. jzr
    November 24, 2007 at 11:43 am

    You go, Lucy!! Great photos, great poem!!

  3. November 24, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    That’s lovely, Lucy. Both. I really like the imagery of the poem.

  4. Polly
    November 24, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    A meditative poem full of wonder – an awesome sense of scale – the tiny on the huge. A lovely slow patient pace to match the subject. And great photos too. Weird and wonderful.

  5. November 24, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    Sweet Lucy is a fine writer but even finer photographer. I urge you to visit her blog.

  6. November 25, 2007 at 7:33 am

    I love these: cool and minimalist, but warm and intriguing – both words and pictures, which are perfectly matched.

  7. November 25, 2007 at 1:05 pm

    The gardeners’ enemies have suddenly become something mysterious and wonderful. Three kings on their way who know where?

  8. Kenneth Hyam
    November 25, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    A fine found poem with beautiful images to go with it. The last line is a leap through space – only comprehensible when you have seen it done.

  9. Christina Pacosz
    November 27, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    I haven’t ever seen these creatures before. But I know the species cabbage white, who doesn’t, from the garden, where they are the most prolific of butterflies. Is the turbine on a wind-powered device? It seems so from the picture.

  10. November 27, 2007 at 4:27 pm

    Thank you for comments.

    Response to Christina; these are the chrysalids (pupae) of the cabbage white butterflies you know from the garden, I think their other name is simply ‘large white’, and they are officially a pest. The turbine is a wind-powered one, in France where we live and the pictures were taken it is called an ‘eolian’. They are situated on a hilltop near our home, on agricultural land, which at this time had previously been planted with oilseed rape, which the caterpillars had been feeding on. After the crop was harvested, the caterpillars had apparently made their way to the wind turbine in the middle of the field and crawled as far as they could up its outer walls in order to pupate. There were hundreds of them.

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