Butterflies and Turtles’ Tears










There are Amazonian butterflies
That live off turtles’ tears.

Being a thousand miles from the sea
And miles from the Andes mountains’ minerals
They need a source of sodium,
And so the butterflies sip the turtles’ tears
Extracting precious salts
With their proboscis –
Salts that they need to fly,
And to be beautiful.
By contrast, Metroman,
Emerging from his cave-dwelling chrysalis,
Now flocks to shimmering cyberscreens,
And scours them for numerical nutrition.
With the money he extracts,
By poking fat fingers at keyboards,
He can spice up his life
And fly from country to country
In mechanised petrol bombs,
Commodifying earthly beauty
And reducing Eden to tears –
Tears whose salt
Is slowly losing its savour. 

Heathcote Williams


By Heathcote Williams

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