Cataclysmic Reductions

My response to today’s prompt at ‘Putting My Feet in the Dirt’, which can be found here:

October Writing Prompts

Today’s poem was inspired by this photo from my friend in Colorado, of the smoke from the fire near Estes Park (The Stanley Hotel from the Shining is there). She says the place this photo was taken is about an hour away from her home, and while she is fairly sure they will be safe, it is getting pretty close. Prayers for everyone affected by the fires in Colorado!

Cataclysmic Reduction, haiku

Fire on the mountain

cataclysmic reduction

rampant destruction

© Amy Porterfield 2020


Yellow butterflies

flutter on a summer breeze

Harbingers of Fall


It’s the end of the summer and these yellow butterflies are everywhere. I did some reading and I learned that they are Yellow Sulfur or cloudless sulfur butterflies, and they are migrating. And they are damn hard to photograph.

Oooh, look! Here’s one!


Ah! Here’s another!


Look at this one!


I finally managed to catch one in my dad’s azalea bush. So lovely…


I think they overwinter in Florida. I’d like to go with them.



Dormant trees sleeping

Silhouetted against the

Brilliant rose-gold dawn.


I love watching the sun rise. I see it every day and it is always exhilarating. My pictures can’t do it justice, and my words can’t communicate my feelings. Beginning every day in awe-struck wonder, excited like a little child, “Oh boy! I get to live in the world today!”

Simplicity truly is a gift.


** This is a repost from last June on my old blog. Thought I’d share it for a new audience. It’s quite appropriate with all the rain and mud we’ve been having lately.

I recently began an early morning walking routine. Up every morning at the crack of dawn, tennis shoes on, earbuds in, walking, walking, walking.  This has become my favorite time of the day. The solitude, the calm before the kids wake up, the fresh morning air… I love it.  My route is always the same. I have a 2.5 mile loop mapped out from my house, up the street, around the corner and back.  The view doesn’t change, really. I do enjoy the stretch of sidewalk beside the park, densely wooded with sunlight peeking through the trees. I like to smell the dirt and the cool, damp air. I would brave the trails through the forest, but one time one of my neighbors told me he saw bear scat back there and even though he was probably full of shit, I don’t play with bears. So I stick to the sidewalk.

While the sidewalk is happily bear-free, walking here can be very monotonous. Verging on boring, really, so I do little things to occupy my mind. I like to write haiku, so I’ll make up little verses about the things I see. For example,

Black widow spider

finish spinning your egg sac

I will walk away

or this one

turtle head peeping

come out of your shell for me

let me see your face

But mostly what I see are dried up crusty earthworms.

June was an exceptionally rainy month, and many earthworms were washed up onto the sidewalk to die, their bodies littering the path. I see them every day, and after a while I became sort of fixated on them. I think the weird combination of tramping on earthworm remains and reading a bunch of Shel Silverstein books with my kids is what inspired this piece.


by Amy Porterfield  🙂

It’s always the same

each time that it rains

the sidewalks are littered

with earthworm remains.

The life of an earthworm

is simple at best,

munching the soil

never stopping to rest.

But often it happens

when the rain comes down,

the worms come up

fearing they’ll drown.

Wriggling to the sidewalk

to catch their breath

completely unaware

of their looming death.

But here comes the sun,

ready or not!

Sighs weary Earthworm,

“My, but it’s hot!”

This photo has nothing to do with the story.
Either does this one.