Butterfly This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


Her steps fall lightly on the ground,
Sheweaves her way without a sound,
But finds the path among the trees
who,having stood eternities,
know her presence, know it well,
and to her theirsecrets tell,
And in return she loves them well,
For her charge she must hold long:
Protector of the Leafy Throng!

And thus with anatural grace,
She climbs high to windy space,
And clinging tight there,looks she then
where only days ago there'd been
a waving sea of ancientgreen,
where now nothing can be seen,
but stumps and ugly, cruelmachines.
So sounding then from perch on high:
the weeping JuliaButterfly!

But with supports her friends arrive,
And amongst them theycontrive
a plan to save the old-growth wood
and end the logging there forgood.
And so there then begins a race
which EarthFirst runs in feveredhaste,
lest all the land be laid to waste.
And still in heart she does notsway;
Julia in the tree will stay.

A Great Protest thus begins,
Andall the folk lay their hopes in
the Butterfly, who rests upon
a woodenplatform, six feet long,
Two hundred feet o'er forest floor,
without a wallor rail or door,
Of weathered boards and nothing more.
In this way shemakes her home,
And in her house she waits, alone.
But not long alone isshe;
Unquiet is the ancient tree.
For deep within it, Julia hears
avoice, wise with many years.
So whilst Julia to it holds,
The great tree toher unfolds.
Its name is Luna, she is told.
Companion now has Juliafound,
Two hundred feet above the ground.

So she, from that loftybower,
Whiles away weeks and days and hours.
She barefoot through thebranches climbs,
Using skills of elder times.
And in a wrinkled book shewrites
of every twig and squirrel she sights,
of screaming eagles, ticksthat bite,
of things she hears cry out at night,
and deeper, darker,desperate fright.

Some months gone, a great storm grows,
And howlingwind about her blows,
A voice she hears, one that she knows.
Luna, theMother, to her cries,
"Hold tight, child! You shan't die!
Remember,you are Butterfly!
So now tightly to me cling,
I, the old and woodything.
Of us, they for years may sing."

From that night on, andthrough the year,
Julia waits, devoid of fear,
Until one day beneath herstands
a laughing crowd with clapping hands.
"You've done it, Julia!Hear the sound
of victory! You can come down!
These trees saws shall neverground!"
And Julia hears old Luna sigh,
"Thank you, LittleButterfly."



Author's Note: At the age of 23, Julia Butterflyclimbed a 1,500-year-old redwood named Luna to protest the destruction ofold-growth trees by logging companies. She stayed there for two years. I haveused poetic license here, but her belief in her cause has made her my hero. Sheshows there might still be beautiful things left in the natural world for futuregenerations to enjoy.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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