“Tiger Swallowtail”, “Bulbpulse” and “Flamingo”

Three poems by Henry Stanton

Tiger Swallowtail

found in all eastern forests

favorites include willows and cottonwoods not

the hot black pavement

where broken winged it hops flutters

and I here have a kettledrum stomach

I am round around my navel

driving along I've forgotten which errand now

Sometimes my beauty pushes out of my belly

Sometimes I hear it first crying near me

and then it suckles

Tathagata will be my next child

Even in this bearing

I remember always the thin-ness against the blackness and hotness

I remember the fluttering yellowness

Fons et Origo

I am Brigit and I will deliver


forever spinning

even without all of you.


Coming back from digging up bulbs

the sun was not risen

i was first there

dug up hundreds of them for replanting

and a flood of loved ones who could use these bulbs

came to me

their faces with their needs

of course you will say when i come home

these are not money

this will not save our family home

i understand

i will burst into tears

i will say "all these beautiful flowers will open"

which will frustrate you

and i will say

"if you could feel my pulse under the frozen ground

they would get planted".


You are trying

with a clean mind

uncluttered always always

to move through this swirl

to a point of color suddenly

bright cursor on a black screen

live life with what is mechanically pointed

that is

does it work like a sharpened moral

this takes incredible push

what of gentleness what of peace

there is god to be beaten back

I mean lets not wrestle with it


shake hands at the end of this match

let's beat it bloody with its own bully stick

You are trying with very short flashes

of the clean and uncluttered

to beat to death

this method

an idea


a flamingo chick

born on a cone of mud

must walk

across miles of desert without water without flight

just to begin life


be born too late in the breeding season

and have the steaming mother waters

recede slowly

encrusting these baby ankles

with salt shackles

killing the chick this slow wicked way

this is the eternal it says

accept me

accept me you have no choice

no you say


and drive nails through the end of your club.

About the Author

Henry Stanton

Henry Stanton is a painter and writer of fiction and poetry living in Ellicott City, MD. He has completed his fifth book of poetry, "Love and Fear", and his second book of short fiction, "River of Gold". He has had fiction and poetry accepted for publication in(or on) 2River, Avatar, The Baltimore Sun Magazine, Late Knocking, The Maryland Poetry Review, The Pearl Pindeldyboz, SmokeLong Quarterly, and Word Riot, among other publications.