Dawn Pisturino's Blog

My Writing Journey

Birdie, Birdie – A Poem

(Baltimore Oriole)

Birdie, birdie in the tree,

Are you lonely just like me?

Rise into the morning sky

And fly, birdie, fly!

Tired of the verdant bough,

Hanging low with apples now?

Look, the yellow sun is high.

Fly, birdie, fly!

I wish I could fly like you,

Sing a song or maybe two,

Flutter softly my good-bye,

And fly, birdie, fly!

When the moon began to rise,

I would leave the darkened skies,

Fold my wings where I would lie,

And die, birdie, die.

Up to heaven I would go,

White and pure as new-made snow,

Safe beneath the father’s eye:

Fly, birdie, fly!

All the world would miss my song,

Sweet and pure and not too long,

Partly triumph, partly sigh;

Fly, birdie, fly!

1985

Dawn Pisturino

June 9, 2022

Copyright 1985-2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

44 Comments »

Reprise: A Butterfly Birthday

(Monarch butterfly)

[Note: I turned this into a children’s story, but this actually happened to me one summer when I was small. It’s an experience I never forgot.]

~

Amy leaned over and smelled the sweet, honey-like fragrance of the tiny white flowers on a leafy green bush. It was spring — her most favorite time of year — and the big backyard was alive with blooming flowers, buzzing bees, and orange-and-black butterflies playing among the wild dandelions growing in the grass.

The butterflies were called monarchs, and Amy looked forward to their arrival every spring.

As she peered deeper into the bush, Amy spied a small green object hanging from a slender brown twig. She reached into the bush and broke off the little twig. She held the object gently in her hand, admiring the delicate green color. Near the top was a hard ridge tinted with yellow that seemed to sparkle like gold in the warm spring sunlight.

Amy had found a butterfly chrysalis. Some people call them cocoons. They are also called pupas.

Amy had learned a lot about butterflies from her teacher at school. She knew that female butterflies lay their eggs on the underside of plant leaves. After a few days small caterpillars, called larvae, eat their way out of the eggs. They finish eating the eggshells — their very first meal! After that, they attach themselves to a leaf and eat and eat and eat until they become too big for their skin. They shed their old skin, a process called molting, and then gobble it up to get important nutrients. Mmm — delicious!

Caterpillars continue to eat and grow and shed their skin until they have done this four times. Now, they are about 2 inches long. But they still have a long way to go before they turn into beautiful butterflies.

The caterpillars take long walks in search of the perfect place to rest. When they find it, they weave a sticky, silky attachment called a silk button. This allows the caterpillars to hang upside down and begin a process called metamorphosis.

For the last time, the caterpillars shed their skin and emerge as a small, oval object called a pupa, chrysalis, or cocoon. This is the third stage in the butterfly life cycle.

Amy realized what a precious treasure she held in her hand. She gathered a handful of grass and leaves and covered the bottom of a large glass jar. She carefully laid the little green cocoon to rest in the soft little nest. Then she punched air holes in the lid with a nail and screwed it on top of the jar.

She placed the jar on a table next to her bed, where the warm spring sunshine would shine through the bedroom window and warm the little green cocoon.

Every day, she looked at the little cocoon in the jar, and waited. Amy knew that the caterpillar’s body inside the chrysalis would dissolve into a liquid and the cells of the adult butterfly begin to grow. The little cocoon became more and more transparent as the immature cells developed into a full-fledged butterfly. Pretty soon, she could see the orange-and-black wings of an adult monarch inside the chrysalis.

One morning, Amy woke up and glanced at the big glass jar next to her bed. But something was different. The little cocoon was broken and empty. Sitting next to it was a brand new orange-and-black butterfly with white markings on its wings. It was the most beautiful monarch butterfly she had ever seen.

The butterfly sat on a dry leaf, slowly moving its wings up and down. Amy watched in fascination, amazed by the miracle of nature she had witnessed in the big glass jar.

But the glass jar was no place to keep such a delicate and fragile creature. She took the jar outside, unscrewed the lid, and watched the beautiful butterfly flutter away.

Dawn Pisturino

June 8, 2022

Copyright 2008-2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

17 Comments »

Reprise: Butterfly Travels

(Monarch Butterfly)

Cymbals crash. Drums roll. In Pacific Grove, California, hundreds of school children, sporting orange-and-black butterfly wings, participate in the annual Butterfly Parade.

The parade is held every October to celebrate the arrival of thousands of monarch butterflies to the Monarch Grove Sanctuary. The monarchs spend the winter here, clustered onto Monterey pines and eucalyptus trees. They enjoy the moderate temperatures and misty fogs of the California coast. In February, when temperatures rise, the monarchs return home again.

Why do monarchs leave home in autumn? How do they know where to go? And how do they find their way back home again in spring?

When temperatures drop in the eastern part of the United States, monarch butterflies travel south, to the warmer climates of Florida and Mexico. Monarchs living in the West migrate to the coast of California. The butterflies need warm temperatures in order to fly. Otherwise, they will die.

Monarchs travel together in large groups for long distances. There can be as many as 1,000 butterflies in a group.

During the day, they can fly 12 miles an hour, up to 100 miles a day. Even though their wingspan is only 3 1/2 inches wide, monarchs can soar up, up into the air, as high as 2,000 feet. At night, tiny claws on their feet help them to cluster together in tree branches. They sleep until morning then start their travels all over again.

Scientists estimate that 100,000 monarch butterflies migrate every year. Some travel 4,000 miles to reach a nature reserve in the mountains of Mexico. In Santa Cruz, California, a monarch flag is hung when the first orange-and-black clusters appear. Six months later, the flag is taken down. Pacific Grove, California calls itself “Butterfly Town, USA.” Tourists flock to the city every year to get a glimpse of their colorful visitors.

Every year, volunteers from the Monarch Project tag thousands of monarchs in order to track how fast and how far the butterflies can fly. The tags are number coded and attached to the hind wings of the butterflies. When someone finds a monarch wearing a tag, the number code, date, and location are recorded.

Monarch Watch and Journey North recruit volunteers to record when and where the first monarch butterflies are spotted every year in autumn and spring.

When spring comes, the monarchs begin the long journey home. Along the way, they mate and lay eggs on milkweed plants. Butterflies that hatch in spring and early summer live two to six weeks. Butterflies born in late summer live eight to nine months because they are the ones that will migrate to warmer climates when autumn comes.

Scientists are still studying how monarch butterflies migrate to distant places and find their way home again. Are they sensitive to the earth’s magnetic field? Are they influenced by the angle of the sun’s rays? Do they follow geographical landmarks such as lakes and rivers? Does some genetic code in their bodies prompt them to return to the same location generation after generation?

Nobody knows. But people who love butterflies welcome the delicate orange-and-black monarchs to their towns every autumn and spring.

Dawn Pisturino

June 7, 2022

Copyright 2013-2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

19 Comments »

Apology: Butterfly, Butterfly – A Poem

(Monarch butterflies)

[NOTE: I apologize for the confusion. I totally messed up this post when I originally wrote it. I accidentally published it when I was saving it for another day, then removed it. Then, when I restored it this morning, it popped up for June 1st instead of today. I was going to let it go, but it kept bugging me, so I re-did the post so I wouldn’t obsess over my mistake all day. That’s not OCD, right?]

by Dawn Pisturino

For my daughter, Ariel

Butterfly, Butterfly,

Dappled with red,

Night-time is coming,

Fly home to your bed!

The white moon is rising,

He hasn’t a care;

The bright stars are shining,

Reflecting him there.

Oh, Butterfly, Butterfly,

What shall you do?

If darkness enfolds you,

How will you get through?

Fly home on a moonbeam,

Guided by stars,

Or maybe such planets

As Venus and Mars?

Or, drifting along on a

Sweet summer breeze,

You’ll land where you want

And do as you please?

Float down on a flower,

The sweet nectar there,

Drawing you inward

And filling the air?

You’ll suck up your supper,

Then lay down to sleep,

Your wings folded neatly,

Their beauty to keep.

And when, in the morning,

You suddenly wake,

The sun will be rising,

A new day will break.

Then, Butterfly, Butterfly,

Fly away home!

Or follow your instincts

To wander and roam.

But come again – do! –

If you happen this way,

Night-time or daytime

Or any old day!

February 8, 1986

This poem was set to music by composer and film maker Barry Gremillion and recorded in October 2013 by Barry Gremillion and Ariel Pisturino. It was uploaded onto SoundCloud.

Thanks, Ariel and Barry!

(CD cover)

Thanks for stopping by and visiting!

Dawn Pisturino

June 6, 2022

Copyright 1986-2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

27 Comments »

Butterfly, Butterfly – A Poem

(Monarch butterflies)



by Dawn Pisturino

For my daughter, Ariel

Butterfly, Butterfly,

Dappled with red,

Night-time is coming,

Fly home to your bed!

The white moon is rising,

He hasn’t a care;

The bright stars are shining,

Reflecting him there.

Oh, Butterfly, Butterfly,

What shall you do?

If darkness enfolds you,

How will you get through?

Fly home on a moonbeam,

Guided by stars,

Or maybe such planets

As Venus and Mars?

Or, drifting along on a

Sweet summer breeze,

You’ll land where you want

And do as you please?

Float down on a flower,

The sweet nectar there,

Drawing you inward

And filling the air?

You’ll suck up your supper,

Then lay down to sleep,

Your wings folded neatly,

Their beauty to keep.

And when, in the morning,

You suddenly wake,

The sun will be rising,

A new day will break.

Then, Butterfly, Butterfly,

Fly away home!

Or follow your instincts

To wander and roam.

But come again – do! –

If you happen this way,

Night-time or daytime

Or any old day!

February 8, 1986

This poem was set to music by composer and film maker Barry Gremillion and recorded in October 2013 by Barry Gremillion and Ariel Pisturino. It was uploaded onto SoundCloud.

Thanks, Ariel and Barry!

(CD cover)

Dawn Pisturino

June 6, 2022

Copyright 1986-2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.



D-Day: An incredible military campaign that required extensive planning and mutual cooperation between allied countries. Never forget – “Freedom is not free.”





4 Comments »

Blooming Desert

(Pink blossoms on a beaver tail cactus. Photo by Dawn Pisturino.)

ALL PHOTOS BY DAWN PISTURINO.

We got enough rain this winter for the cactus to blossom. It truly is a lovely sight when the desert is in bloom.

(Rose-colored blossom on a prickly pear cactus. Photo by Dawn Pisturino.)

But those cactus needles are nothing to mess with! They hurt!

(Creosote bush in bloom. Photo by Dawn Pisturino.)

Creosote bushes are indigenous desert plants with deep roots and waxy green leaves which help them to retain moisture. They mostly stay green year round. But, in the spring, they burst forth with lovely yellow flowers that brighten up the landscape. On the downside, these yellow flowers mark the start of allergy season. Nothing lasts long in the desert, however, so we enjoy them while we can. Achoo!

Have a lovely day, wherever you are!

Dawn Pisturino

May 3, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

16 Comments »

Spring Poems

(Photo by Michael O’Grady)

Spring Poems by Dawn Pisturino

April Showers

I looked into the heavens

And saw the face of God.

He was a kindly gentleman

And not too very loud.

He wore a watch upon his vest

Which gave the time of day.

He looked at it: “The time has come,”

Was all he had to say.

And soon a gentle rainfall

Came from the April sky.

It kissed my wondering up-turned face

And poked me in the eye.

But then a very curious thing

Did happen at my feet.

A tiny flower sprouted up,

All blooming and complete.

It opened up its tiny leaves,

Embracing fast the rain,

And if I ever doubted God –

I never did again.

November 25, 1985

~

Spring

Spring! The vigor of new life soars in my veins!

I am free and alive and wonderful,

Free as the silly sparrow twittering in the tree-top,

Too gaily alive.

Alive as the new-sprung fountain of youth in the riverbed,

Which knows not that it is bound by grassy banks,

But runs down the waterway in a mad race for the finish.

And, wonderful as the tiny petals of a flower,

First opening up to the Father Sun

Like a virgin bride in the marriage bed.

Sun gives new life to the blood,

And blood gives new life to the body,

And the body gives new life to the soul,

Ad infinitum, ad infinitum, ad infinitum.

But every Spring plays its part as a new beginning,

And we never tire of the encore.

1987

~

Robin Red-Breast

When Robin Red-breast comes to town,

All the children dance around,

Clapping hands and stamping feet,

Happy with their little treat!

February 2, 1987

~

Have a wonderful Spring day!

Dawn Pisturino

April 25, 2022

Copyright 1985-2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

24 Comments »

Love Your Mother!

(GAIA)

Gaia was the Greek goddess of the Earth who was born out of Chaos at the beginning of creation. Through her mating with Uranus, the celestial gods were born. Her dalliance with Pontos brought forth the sea gods. Through Tartaros, she birthed the giants. All humans and animals were created from her material being.

The Greeks viewed the Earth as a flat disk surrounded by a river. Overhead, the Earth was protected by a heavenly dome. Underneath, a deep pit formed the dome of the Underworld. Gaia was the Mother who nourished and nurtured the Earth and everything on it. The seas and mountains anchored securely on her great and abundant breasts.

Humans are not separate from nature. We are as dependent on Mother Earth for our sustenance as any other creature. But the human ego, pumped up by advanced technology, has deceived us into believing that we are above it all. We are so powerful, intelligent, and all-knowing, that we can control nature, the weather, and all aspects of the natural order. We are the Masters of the Universe, ready to hop onto the next spaceship to another planet. The problem is that we will take all of our problems and our egos with us.

In the 1970s, scientists claimed that the Earth was headed for another Ice Age and had all the data to back it up. So far, it hasn’t happened. They claimed that the Earth would run out of petroleum in 25 years. It never happened. They claimed that the Earth was going to be so over-populated in the future that famine would be widespread. Except for the political manipulation of politicians, this has not happened.

In the 1990s, we began to see books like The Coming Plague (1994) and The Coming Global Superstorm (1999) which predicted widespread existential threats like devastating disease and severe weather patterns that would wipe out the human race. No natural event has ever occurred in the history of mankind which had the capability to wipe out the entire human race. (Please note that I’m not talking about the dinosaurs here.) COVID was never virulent enough to rise to that occasion, as inconvenient and life-changing as it has been. (And there is no evidence that COVID originated from climate change, as some people are claiming. It could just as likely have originated from a lab, as some evidence suggests, or arisen naturally as a result of mutation, which is the most logical conclusion.) And, the wildfires, hurricanes, and tornados we have experienced have been contained as local events.

When scientists first labeled climate change as “global warming,” they neglected to explain to the general public how that actually works, and people were confused by what they actually experienced; so they re-labeled it as “climate change” to make it easier to understand. Essentially, it means that when one part of the planet grows warmer and changes the local environment, other changes occur in other parts of the planet – but NOT NECESSARILY THE SAME CHANGES. For example, record heat in one part of the planet may be accompanied by record cold in another part, even if the overall temperature of the planet has increased. Increased drought in one area may be accompanied by increased precipitation in another. Climate (long-term conditions) and weather (short-term conditions) involve much more than just temperature. Wind and ocean currents play a big part. An extreme event would be a sudden and unstoppable shift in climate. This scenario was touched upon in the movie The Day After Tomorrow (2004), where North America was suddenly covered with ice, and people were forced to migrate south to Mexico. (This movie, by the way, is based on the book, The Coming Global Superstorm.)

Our Mother Earth also has mechanisms in place to control population (disease, infertility, old age, predation, and natural death). The human ego is so out of control that we have come to a point where we believe that nobody should ever get sick and nobody should ever die. This attitude has been clearly evident during the COVID pandemic. One of the most important things I learned as a registered nurse and healthcare worker is that you can’t save everybody, and in fact, you shouldn’t save everybody. This sounds cold-hearted, but it’s a fact of life. The world is out of balance because of human interference in the natural order.

On Earth Day and everyday, remember and love your Mother – she who nourishes and sustains your very existence. But please don’t spread the seeds of hysteria, fear, panic, and anxiety. When Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others began telling young people that we were all going to die in 12 years because of climate change, we began receiving young people into our inpatient mental health unit who were so distraught and eaten up with anxiety, paranoia, and fear that some of them were on the verge of suicide. Deliberately spreading this kind of fear-mongering rhetoric is irresponsible, cruel, and unacceptable. It’s pollution of a different sort.

Recycle what you can, plant trees, pick up litter, and keep your environment clean and free from as many toxins as possible. Work to help endangered species and places to thrive. Help clean up our oceans, rivers, and lakes. Conserve water! Reduce your use of plastic. Use energy-efficient vehicles, appliances, and lighting. Drive electric vehicles, if that’s your style, but remember that those batteries create toxic waste (ALL BATTERIES create toxic waste). Electronic computers, cellphones, and other devices also create toxic waste and use elements like lithium that have to be mined from the earth. Mining leads to erosion and deforestation. Convert to solar, wind, and all-electric, if you want. But remember that even these technologies have their environmental downside. For example, the breakdown of energy sources used to generate electricity is as follows, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration: natural gas 40%, nuclear energy 20%, renewable energy 20%, coal 19%, petroleum 1%. Using electricity does not eliminate fossil fuels and nuclear energy from the equation. Anybody who tells you otherwise (including politicians and climate activists) has not done their homework. Furthermore, humans and animals are carbon-based entities. Plants depend on CO2 to produce oxygen. We could never live in a carbon-free world because that, in itself, would be an existential threat.

On April 22, we honor our planet. Happy Earth Day!

Dawn Pisturino

April 21, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

41 Comments »

The Pagan Origins of Easter

The Spring Equinox marks the festival of Eostre – also known as Ostara – a Germanic goddess worshiped by the Anglo-Saxons. If “Eostre” looks familiar, it’s because the word eventually morphed into “Easter.”


The pagan symbols of Easter include rabbits, hares, and eggs. Rabbits and hares represent fertility, while eggs symbolize fertile purity. Easter egg hunts can be viewed as a re-enactment of rebirth and renewal rituals practiced by ancient people. Lighting a bonfire at dawn on Easter morning hearkens back to the days when Germanic believers lit bonfires at dawn on the morning of the Spring Equinox. Decorating eggs and wearing new clothes symbolize the end of winter, the coming of Spring, and the birth of new life.


We all look forward to the coming of spring and all the beautiful treasures it brings: fresh green grass, colorful and fragrant flowers, birds singing in the trees, blue skies and sunshine, and warm breezes wafting through our open windows. Spring is the time when we feel energetic and renewed. We want to stretch out our muscles and get outdoors in the sunshine. We feel suddenly motivated to clean out our closets and send belongings we no longer need to the local thrift shop. We shop for new clothes, try a new hairstyle, revel in nature and the world at large. After the oppression of winter, Spring sets us FREE.


Happy Easter! Happy Spring!


Dawn Pisturino
April 11, 2020; April 12, 2022
Copyright 2020-2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

21 Comments »

Poems about Wind

(Photo by Khamkéo Vilaysing on Unsplash)

Poems about Wind

by Dawn Pisturino

~

In French and English:

Au Vent                                                             To the Wind

Souffles, O vent,                                                Blow, O wind,

Dis à mon oreille                                               Speak into my ear

Un doux mot d’amour;                                     A sweet word of love;

Emportes mes rêves,                                         Carry away my dreams,

Rapportes mes souhaits,                                   Bring back my wishes,

Et n’oublies pas, pour toujours,                       And don’t forget, always,

Ὰ chanter une belle chanson.                            To sing a beautiful song.

5 mai 1985                                                           May 5, 1985

pour mon ami, J.J.                                              for my friend, J.J.

~

Wind

Wind, wind, holler and cry,

The windows are shaking, the doors want to fly!

The old tree is creaking, it surely must fall;

The chimney is cracking, bricks, mortar and all!

How everything shudders! I mustn’t delay:

We have, it would seem, a tornado today.

May 3, 1986

~

Dawn Pisturino

April 6, 2022

Copyright 1985-2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

33 Comments »

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