Butterfly Poems and Readings

An American Indian Legend An Easter Service An Irish Blessing
Autumn Birth of a Butterfly Butterflies
Butterflies Butterflies - Papago Butterflies, Oh, Butterflies
Butterfly Butterfly Butterfly Cycle
Butterfly Hovers Closely Butterfly Memorial Poem Butterfly Release
Butterfly Song Butterfly Wings Butterfly Wishes
Butterfly Wishes Caterpillar Caterpillar Song
Cocoon Funeral Poem Fuzzy Caterpillar
Fuzzy Wuzzy Caterpillar I Am Always With You I Am Not There
I Saw A Butterfly Today Messenger of God Miss Me But Let Me Go
New Beginnings - A Flight in the Sun On The Wings of Hope Pod of the Milkweed
Spring Symbol of Hope To A Butterfly
While Waiting For Thee Wings  


An American Indian Legend

According to an American Indian Legend:

       If anyone desires a wish to come true they must first capture a butterfly and whisper that wish to it.

       Since a butterfly can make no sound, the butterfly can not reveal the wish to anyone but the Great Spirit who hears and sees all.

       In gratitude for giving the beautiful butterfly its freedom, the Great Spirit always grants the wish.

       So, according to legend, by making a wish and giving the butterfly its freedom, the wish will be taken to the heavens and be granted.

      (The following line is often added when the Legend is read prior to releasing butterflies at a wedding)

       We have gathered to grant this couple all our best wishes and are about to set these butterflies free in trust that all these wishes will be granted.



I Saw a Butterfly Today

I saw a butterfly today
Small and green with no wings
Crawling into shadows\hiding from a world who ignores its subtle beauty
Afraid to never be noticed...appreciated

I saw a butterfly today
Camouflaged and shielded in self-made walls
Neglecting the world of its gentle touch
Afraid to be met with a forceful hand
I saw a butterfly today
Wings new and fresh
Excited with exhilaration
Facing a world with new courage
Knowing it cannot be harmed
I saw a butterfly today
Blue and gold streaked the sky
embracing the sunlight's rays
Fluttering around my head
Carrying my heart on her flight
I saw a butterfly today



On The Wings of Hope

As an ancient legend goes;

If anyone desires a wish to come true,
they must capture a butterfly and whisper that wish to it.

Since butterflies make no sound,
They canít tell that wish to anyone but the Great Spirit.

So by making the wish and releasing the butterfly,
It will be taken to the heavens and be granted.

Although this legend implies that we should keep our wishes silent,
there are some wishes that need to be expressed out loud.

To those that have been touched by the disease we are helping to fight today,

We wish the caregivers strength and tranquility,
and thank them for their gifted labor of love.

We wish the survivors a long and happy life,
and thank them for showing us how to fight with courage and determination.

We wish those currently fighting the battle energy and hope,
and thank them for showing us what true bravery is all about.

And finally, we wish the victims peace and love,
and thank them for the joy and happiness they brought to us.

With this symbolic gesture, we honor those that have left us and encourage
those left behind to continue the fight ďOn the Wings of HopeĒ.

Ralph Charles Ritchie




A butterfly can fly away,
A butterfly can be a kiss,
A butterfly can be such a gaze,
A butterfly can die just like that.
That's what happened to you.
God took you,
Turned you into a butterfly,
And you flew away.



Butterfly Wishes

Butterfly, flutterby
Come to
Take me to Mexico
On your delicate wing.

Butterfly, flutterby
It is early fall
I want to escape from here
To you I call.

Butterfly, flutterby
Be with me tonight
Iíll be ready in a minute
Ready for take-off; ready for flight.

Butterfly, flutterby
How gorgeous your face
Yellow, black, stained-glass wings
I see your mysterious smile and dainty grace.

Butterfly, flutterby
Iím waiting; Iíll stay
Please donít forget me
But look! Now youíre going, going, gone, away.

Butterfly, flutterby
How can this be?
You said good bye
Now what about me?

Butterfly, flutterby
You could have come to me
Could have taken me to Mexico
On your delicate wing.

Butterfly, flutterby
This is not the end
Return for me next year
I will be waiting and watching, again and again.



A Butterfly Hovers Closely

A butterfly hovers closely
And then quickly moves away,
Swiftly going where so ever
Her heart may freely say.

A butterfly lowers and rises
With the wind's gusty breath,
As if coupled within a dance
Of a loving tenderness.

The butterfly only knows
How it feels to have wings,
To kiss the petals of flowers
In such elegant flitterings.

To have but one moment
Of such an exquisite flight,
Would be like a dream
Where all seems so right.

Author Unknown




Butterflies go fluttering by
On colored wings that catch the eye.
On wings of orange, and silvery blue,
On wings of golden yellow, too.
Butterflies float in the air,
Making their homes most anywhere:
The rainforest, field, and prairie land,
On mountaintops, and desert sand.
If winter brings the cold and snow,
To warmer climates, off they go!
Returning home the following spring,
Beautiful butterflies on the wing!

Author Unknown




Flutter by, Butterfly,
Floating flower in the sky.
Kiss me with your Petal wings---
Whisper secrets, Tell of spring.

Author Unknown



Butterflies, Oh, Butterflies

Butterflies, Oh, Butterflies,
Your beauty is so rare.

Butterflies, Oh, butterflies,
How could anyone dare.
to catch you and to hold you
against your solemn will?
They should just admire you
and let you have your fill.
of flitting here and flitting there,
gathering up your daily fare
of nectars from the flowers bright,
from early morning until night.

Butterflies, beautiful butterflies,
with so many colors rare,
it hurts my heart when one dies,
Yet, does anyone truly care?

For butterflies, butterflies,
you represent new birth,
from chrysalis until you die,
you beautify the earth.

thank you, lovely butterflies.

Author Unknown



An Irish Blessing

May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun.
And find your shoulder to light on.
To bring you luck, happiness and riches.
Today, tomorrow and beyond



The Cocoon

I found a cocoon that a caterpillar made,
Fastened to a leaf, hanging in the shade.
He barely had room to wiggle or wag,
Like me zipped up in my sleeping bag.

I looked each time that I passed his way,
But he never budged until just today.
Something happened! He wagged and wiggled,
And then climbed out, And carefully jiggled.
Small wet wings that grew as they dried.
He'd turned to a butterfly while inside!



Birth of a Butterfly

(can be sung to the tune of Hush Little Baby, Don't Say a Word)

A mama butterfly lays all her eggs,
Out pops a caterpillar, crawling on its legs.

The caterpillar first is rather thin,
But then it eats till it bursts through its skin.

After growing nice and big,
The caterpillar climbs on a leaf or twig.

It makes a shell where it hangs inside.
The shell then cracks, and the parts divide.

Inside the shell, a change was going on,
The form of the caterpillar now is gone.

When the shell opens, what comes out?
A beautiful butterfly fluttering about!

Meish Goldish





See the butterfly up in the sky.

Watch it as it flutters by!

Butterflies start as tiny eggs.

Out come caterpillars with many legs.

Little caterpillars growing long,

crawling, feeding, getting strong.

They love to nibble and to chew.

They eat small leaves and big ones, too.

Four weeks pass.  They grow more.

They shed their skin.

One time, two times, three times, four.

Once again a change comes around.

Now it is hanging upside down.

Soon, it spins a silky pad to hold on tight,

and a halter, too, to keep it upright.

Now it sheds its skin one time more,

to reveal a chrysalis, not at all like the skin before.

Inside this shell it is changing, growing.

Eyes, legs, wings, are now almost showing.

What can it be?  Wait and see.

It's a butterfly!

Its wings are wet. It has to rest. It can't fly yet.

Soon, it tries hard with all its might,

spreads its four wings--and takes a flight.

Like a flower in the sky, what a sight -- a butterfly! 

Wings of black, orange, yellow, and blue,

red, green, gold, and purple, too.

Colors bright as in a rainbow.

What makes these colors? Do you know?

It's layers of little scales that we see.

They make the colors as bright as can be!

Butterflies drink nectar from pretty flowers.

It tastes so sweet, they sip for hours.

They use their long, thin tongues to drink.

That's kind of odd, don't you think?

From caterpillar to butterfly, takes eight weeks in all.

All sizes of butterflies--big and small.

See the butterfly up in the sky.

Watch it as it flutters by!

By: Karen Shapiro 



Butterfly Cycle
(Tune: Row, Row, Row Your Boat)

 Hatch, hatch little egg,
 I'm so very small.
 Teeny tiny caterpillar,
 You can't see me at all.

 Crawl, caterpillar, crawl,
 Munching on a leaf.
 Crawling, munching, crawling, munching,
 Eat and eat and eat.

 Form, form chrysalis,
 I'm a different shape;
 Hanging by a silken thread
 Until I can escape.

 Rest, rest, chrysalis
 While I change inside;
 Now at last my time has come
 To be a butterfly.

 Stretch, stretch, pretty wings,
 It's a special day;
 Soon they will be strong enough
 For me to fly away.

 Fly, fly, butterfly,
 Fly from flower to tree;
 Find a place to lay my eggs
 So they can grow like me.

     Suzy Gazlay



To a Butterfly

I've watched you now a full half-hour;
Self-poised upon that yellow flower
And, little Butterfly!  Indeed
I know not if you sleep or feed.
How motionless! - not frozen seas
More motionless! and then
What joy awaits you, when the breeze
Hath found you out among the trees,
And calls you forth again!

~William Wordsworth,



The Fuzzy Caterpillar

(to the tune of "The Teensy Weensy Spider")

The fuzzy caterpillar
Curled upon a leaf,
Spun her little chrysalis
And then fell asleep.
While she was sleeping,
She dreamed that she could fly,
And later when she woke up
She was a butterfly!



Fuzzy Wuzzy Caterpillar

Fuzzy wuzzy caterpillar
         in the garden creeps.
He spins himself a blanket
         and soon falls fast asleep.

Fuzzy wuzzy caterpillar
         wakes up by and by
To find he has wings of beauty,
         changed to a butterfly.




Creepy crawly caterpillar
Looping up and down,
Furry tufts of hair along
Your back of golden brown.

You will soon be wrapped in silk,
Asleep for many a day;
And then, a handsome butterfly,
You'll stretch and fly away.

Mary Dawson



The Butterfly Song

(to the tune of "Up on the Housetop")

First comes a butterfly and lays an egg,
Out comes a caterpillar with many legs,
Oh see the caterpillar spin and spin,
A little chrysalis to sleep in.

Oh, oh ,oh wait and see
oh oh oh wait and see
Out of the chrysalis, my oh my
out comes a pretty butterfly.



Caterpillar Song

I started as a tiny egg
Upon a leaf of green
And now I stay upon the leaf
So I will not be seen

Soon I'll build a chrysalis
Upon a limb up high
I'll stay a while and then come out
And be a butterfly



Butterfly Wishes

Yesterday a butterfly
Came floating gently through the sky.
He soared up through the atmosphere
Then drifted close enough to hear.

I said, "I'd love to fly with you
And sail around the way you do.
It looks like it would be such fun
To fly up toward the summer sun.

But I have not your graceful charm.
I haven't wings, just these two arms.
I've been designed to walk around.
My human feet must touch the ground.

Then magically he spoke to me
and told me what his wish would be.

He said, "What I'd love most to do
Is walk upon God's Earth with you,
To squish it's mud between my toes
Or touch my finger to my nose.

I'd love just once to walk around
With human feet to touch the ground,
But I have not two legs that swing,
I haven't arms, just these two wings."

And so we went our separate ways
In wonder and surprise.
For we'd both seen God's precious gifts
Through someone else's eyes.

Author Unknown



Butterfly Memorial Poem

A rush of wings they flutter high
to touch the sun and kiss the sky

A butterfly is with us now
No more a caterpillar upon a leaf

(Person's Name) with angel wings
A soaring butterfly with us they sing

Lili Pintea-Reed




One day the Creator was resting, sitting, watching some children at play in a village. The children laughed and sang, yet as he watched them, the Creators heart was sad. He was thinking: These children will grow old.

Their skin will become wrinkled. Their hair will turn gray. Their teeth fall out. The young hunters arm will fail. These lovely young girls will grow ugly and fat. The playful puppies will become blind mangy dogs. And those wonderful flowers-yellow and blue, red and purple-will fade. The leaves from the trees will fall and dry up. Already they are turning yellow.

Thus the Creator grew sadder and sadder. It was in the fall, and the thought of the coming winter, with its cold and lack of game and green things, made his heart heavy. Yet it was still warm, and the sun was shining. The Creator watched the play of sunlight and shadow on the ground, the yellow leaves being carried here and there by the wind. He saw the blueness of the sky, the whiteness of some cornmeal ground by the women.

Suddenly he smiled All those colors, they ought to be preserved.

I'll make something to gladden my heart, something for these children to look at and enjoy. The Creator took out his bag and started gathering things: a spot of sunlight, a handful of blue from the sky, the whiteness of the cornmeal, the shadow of playing children the blackness of a beautiful girls hair, the yellow of the falling leaves, the green of the pine needles, the red, purple, and orange of the flowers around him.

All these he put into his bag.  As an afterthought, he put the songs of the birds in, too.  Then he walked over to the grassy spot where the children were playing. Children, little children, this is for you, and he gave them his bag.

Open it; there's something nice inside, he told them.

The children opened the bag, and at once hundreds and hundreds of colored butterflies flew out, dancing around the childrens heads, settling on their hair, fluttering up again to sip from this or that flower. And the children, enchanted, said that they had never seen anything so beautiful.  The butterflies began to sing, and children listened smiling.

But then a songbird came flying, settling on the Creators shoulder, scolding him, saying: Its not right to give our songs to these new pretty things.  You told us when you made us that every bird would have his own song. And now you've passed them all around.  Isn't it enough that you gave your new playthings the colors of the rainbow?

You're right, said the Creator. I made one song for each bird, and I shouldn't have taken what belongs to you.  So the Creator took the songs away from the butterflies, and that's why they are silent. They're beautiful even so! he said.

Buck Conner
Member of the "Turtle Clan" - Lenni Lenape Society



A Funeral Poem

"A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam.
And for a brief moment its glory and beauty
belong to our world.
But then it flies on again,
and though we wish it could have stayed,
we feel so lucky to have seen it."

On the back of the paper it says:

"Today we celebrate life with the release of butterflies.  The animals you have been given will emerge from their envelopes and alight on your hand for a moment before flying off.  Butterflies, a symbol of life, and freedom, were always special to (name). 

When instructed, please open the envelope and allow the butterfly to emerge on its own.   It may take a few moments for the beautiful creature to adjust to the light and temperature before it flies off.  These animals are natives, will thrive and insure the continuation of their species, keeping memory alive."

From Dan & Zane Greathouse:

A couple of weeks ago, we filled an order for a 22 year-old's funeral, and we received this poem from the funeral...



Messenger of God

Oh, Little Butterfly,
Messenger of God,
When I see you in the sky
I cannot help but nod.
You bring me respite

From grief and dispair
Everytime I see you
Sailing through the air.
You renew my faith
In all God's wondrous plan,
And I know it's all in FAITH,
Not in what I understand.

Kathryn Poland




Do not stand by my grave and weep
For I am not there.

I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am diamonds that glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning hush
I am the swift uplifting rush of butterflies in joyous flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there.  I did not die.




A Symbol of Hope

A Symbol of Hope
A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam
And for a brief moment its glory and beauty belong to our world
But then it flies again
And though we wish it could have stayed...
We feel lucky to have seen it.




Butterfly Wings

Like a butterfly emerges
And unfolds its graceful wings,
A child grows and develops
With the love a mother brings.
I'm thankful for the times
When you encouraged me to try,
For God gave me my wings,
But, Mom, you taught me how to fly.

Author: Robin Fogle



An Easter Service by Penny Wilson

As the Lord had finished creating the earth,

 something was missing so he chose pieces from all the flowers,

 threw them into the sky and blew life into them and the butterflies were born.




That first bright step into the sunshine of life
begins with the opening of the family cocoon.
The caterpillar becomes a butterfly
spreading her wings into the world.

What she is today is but a tiny mirror.
of the transformation that is yet to come.
For with time, love, humor and warmth
She is an everchanging masterpiece.

Whether as wife, mother, career woman or all,
she will find her center of peace.
A place that is hers and hers alone,
the essence of what she is and will be.

Using the instincts that each of us have
to find the good in each other.
to be a caring friend, lover, helper and playmate,
to listen and share, to laugh and to cry.

With loving support of family and friends,
she takes flight down an unknown road towards her future,
like the rising of the sun in the east.
Each day filled with new beginnings.

Finding excitement and challenge at each new turn.
Her flight through life filled with many happy adventures
and memories to put in her book of life,
as the sun moves along that steady path across the sky.

When the sun at last begins to set in the west
and her flight nears its end, she can look back along her path
and know that she has been everything she can be
and has done her very best.

poem by Linda Dietz



A Butterfly Release

As you release this butterfly in honor of me,
know that I'm with you and will always be.

Hold a hand, say a prayer,
close your eyes and see me there.

Although you may feel a bit torn apart,
please know that I'll be forever in your heart.

Now fly away butterfly as high as you can go,
I'm right there with you more than you know.

By Jill Haley




You have given me wings with which to fly
Now I breathe in deep and spread them wide
as we lift off from the silken petals
into the wind where the butterflies glide.



While Waiting for Thee

Don't weep at my grave, for I am not there,
I've a date with a butterfly to dance in the air.
I'll be singing in the sunshine, wild and free,
Playing tag with the wind, while I'm waiting for thee.
~~ We are as the wings of a butterfly, bound together with the love of God

Jenn, The Butterfly Box




Today, we release a butterfly
as a symbol of new beginning and life.
We celebrate the resurrection
and rejoice in the wonder, and reconnection.
As it glides away in the warm Spring air,
and flutters among the blossom there,
and stops to rest on a flower or two,
and takes a drink of the morning dew,
we remember that there is nothing too small
that our faith in Christ should ever stall.

by Jacqui Knight




Today, we release a butterfly
as a symbol of new beginning and life.
We celebrate the resurrection
and rejoice in the wonder, and reconnection.
As it glides away on the Autumn breeze,
and flutters among the wind-blown leaves,
and stops to rest on a flower or two,
and takes a drink of the morning dew,
we remember that there is nothing too small
that our faith in Christ should ever stall.

by Jacqui Knight



Miss Me But Let Me Go..

When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me,
I want no rites in a gloom-filled room.
Why cry for a soul so free?

Miss me a little but not too long,
And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared.
Miss me, but let me go.

For this is a journey we all must take
And each must go alone,
Itís all a part of the Masterís plan,
A step on the road to Home.

When you are lonely and sick of heart
Go to the friends we know,
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds,
Miss me but let me go.



I Am Always With You

When I am gone, release me, let me go.
I have so many things to see and do,
You mustn't tie yourself to me with too many tears,
But be thankful we had so many good years.

I gave you my love, and you can only guess
How much you've given me in happiness.
I thank you for the love that you have shown,
But now it is time I traveled on alone.

So grieve for me a while, if grieve you must
Then let your grief be comforted by trust
That it is only for a while that we must part,
So treasure the memories within your heart.

I won't be far away for life goes on.
And if you need me, call and I will come.
Though you can't see or touch me, I will be near
And if you listen with your heart, you'll hear
All my love around you soft and clear

And then, when you come this way alone,
I'll greet you with a smile and a "Welcome Home".



Pod of the Milkweed

Where have those flowers and butterflies all gone
That science may have staked the future on?
He seems to say the reason why so much
Should come to nothing must be fairly faced.
~Robert Frost