Dan Guenther’s collection of selected poems, The Crooked Truth, is the 2011 Colorado Authors’ League poetry award winner. Early in their 38-year marriage, Dan and his wife took a transformative trip to New South Wales, Australia. Dan says Whitney Houston’s death reminded him of the importance of celebrating the best of times—and long unions. He acknowledged that imperative with this poem.
—For my wife, Cheryl, remembering the Blue Mountains, NSW, 1976
Blue Mountain Swallowtails
By Dan Guenther
A blue mountain swallowtail crosses our path
in the idiosyncrasies of the gum-laden light.
Gliding before our eyes its beauty arises from some far off place
where once it followed another blue swallowtail
through the rhythmic cascades of ambivalent leaves.
Perhaps those blue swallowtails proved to be mirrors of each other
where desire was an endless cycle yet to be shaped by the hands of death?
Oh, to be outside the compressed intensity of time and ambition’s white noise,
you and I waiting together again on those quiet and delicate borderlands,
the soothing evening cooing unseen under the looming trees…