caterpillar soup

exhale all hope

push it out

birth the death

of you


fall back


in one last act

of trust


into the embrace

of the abyss

sink now

into sweet release


inevitable darkness





an eternal shadow

not just blocking

but eliminating

the light


here in this



finally tested


and at this moment

no one

no one

will come


save your





to invite you



with demise


singing this song




let’s make

caterpillar soup


Notes: Poem inspired by an article in Scientific American

Here’s a snippet. For the full article follow the link above.

“But what does that radical transformation entail? How does a caterpillar rearrange itself into a butterfly? What happens inside a chrysalis or cocoon?

First, the caterpillar digests itself, releasing enzymes to dissolve all of its tissues. If you were to cut open a cocoon or chrysalis at just the right time, caterpillar soup would ooze out. But the contents of the pupa are not entirely an amorphous mess. Certain highly organized groups of cells known as imaginal discs survive the digestive process. Before hatching, when a caterpillar is still developing inside its egg, it grows an imaginal disc for each of the adult body parts it will need as a mature butterfly or moth—discs for its eyes, for its wings, its legs and so on.”

20 thoughts on “caterpillar soup

  1. Jim says:

    I was drinking your caterpillar soup this weekend. It was too worrisome a time to sing very much. A nice write, I enjoyed it.
    My contribution is two posts this morning. A 2006 writing and a shorter 2009 version that I officially called a poem.

  2. therisa says:

    Was thinking of it, as a personal transformation, especially, after the first stanza, Paul, as the butterfly is, one the symbols that the trans-community has adopted, as it’s own.

  3. Sherry Marr says:

    This is a thoughtful look at leaning back into that void, trusting the mystery. I love pondering the idea of caterpillar soup, and the transformation taking place as the butterfly takes wing. Really beautiful.

  4. kim881 says:

    I like the opening lines, Paul:
    ‘exhale all hope
    push it out
    birth the death
    of you’ –
    in my mind’s eye I can see a struggling cocoon. That’s me at the moment – struggling
    ‘here in this
    finally tested’
    if I ever had any faith. The world is such a scary place.

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