© 2001, Carl Thomas Gladstone

Both Taxman and Ms. Management toil
at the big, bold, black and yellow corporation:
“Caterpillar Construction” a staple in the midtown square.
“Caterpillar—flying toward tomorrow!”
shout the letterheads. And every week
as propaganda, PR geeks
liberate some butterflies to the breeze.

Then a wind, as cosmopolitan as the city it churns through
transforms the bugs to twisterflies with convoluted routes.
And blown ‘round the city’s tink and tank, and tunk-a-tunk,
the twisterflies, imperceptible above, tumble about the town.

Ms. Management with TPS reports,
running between conference calls and coffee,
shuts her plastic window shades, denies the twisterflies’ twirling.
Taxman with his sharpened No. 2,
hunkered in a basement business-bunker,
would dream these frantic butterflies in summer storms,
if he could dream at all.

Are you just a corporate endeavor?
Can you fly beyond their block lettered
brands as a beautiful, fluttering, twisterfly?

Like leaves flipped by a gust of wind
the twisterflies drop on the green city park
where a woman who pushes a jangly cart
tacks little wood houses together.

Little wood houses with butterfly doors,
and hand painted words on each little roof
that say, “Twisterflies welcome,
these houses are built from the heart.”


The structure of the towering company still looms.
Within the Caterpillar Center
the ups and downs of rigid elevators,
calculate the day with beeps and bongs.
And because the butterflies are caged
between profit margins and budget lines,
they continue to soar in clouds of abnormal migrations.

Fly, beautiful, fluttering,
Fly, fragile, and wondering,
Fly, neglected and wandering,

Find houses that welcome you,
open their doors for you,
quiet the storm for you,