University of Minnesota

The Monarch

Contributed by Larry Schug

All it takes for anarchy to reign
is clear-cutting forests of oyamel fir
in Mexico’s Sierra Nevada,
scything down, poisoning,
plowing under the humble milkweeds
of America’s farm lands.
Add a change in climate
and the butterflies are gone forever,
vanishing like fallen maple leaves
absorbed by the soil that claims all life.
Unlike the fall of human kings,
there is no joy
when this benevolent monarch is deposed,
not replaced by democracy, but one-party rule,
a dictatorship of man
on naked mountains
and endless fields of hybrid corn.

- Larry Schug, June 2015

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