Author’s Note: A musical track I created with L.A. musician Bo Blount is currently featured in the trailer for The Beautiful Anthology (BIG thanks to David Grossbach for putting it together). Below you’ll find the poem which inspired the piece. If you’d like to listen to the track, or download a free version of it, click on the SoundCloud link at the bottom of the page. Hope you enjoy…


Like a Russian mobster tattoo
This is you forever inked into my flesh
Telling the story of us

That story’s name: Butterfly, Moon, Bed


Born of dream, motion, and light
That story tells how you took the stones from my heart
Lifted me into the sky
Constructed new meaning out of thin air
Breathed new life into me

Carried me still higher

Far beyond those heights where I’d once built my ghost
From radio static, heartache, and a hangman’s rope

Farther still beyond that place where my suicide stewardess used to say:
“Your contents may have shifted during fright…”

Butterfly, Moon, Bed

That story you speak to me, through me
Tells of how you pulled me out from beneath the wheels of that Sleep Train
Where my soul had been crushed by some mighty hard growing pains

That story you speak to me, through me
Keeps working like a syringe
Drawing out the angry seasons from beneath my skin
Replacing that empty space with song, summer rain
And a few blue flowers

Those flowers growing,
Forever growing

Deep inside that garden of me
Reside the memories of those days
When the two of us lay together on daydream’s bed
Feeling the earth beneath us move
Expanding, contracting
The two of us, breathing down deep into our lungs
A fluid like water of immeasurable love

And once we’d learned to breathe that glorious new way
Once we’d recalibrated our blood
To fight off the Bends of defeat
That’s when we learned to spin in time
With the earth, moon, and stars

Those stars glowing,
Forever glowing

Butterfly, Moon, Bed

Those were the days
I’d run my fingers along your body
As if you were prayer beads
Me, counting, counting my 108 blessings
Leveling out karma’s score
Keeping the demons far beyond
Your blur-beast blue door

Leaving room for your hesitation angels
To bloom into absolute bliss
And with each and every kiss
How those angels grew stronger

Rising like Zapata
Taking up arms against injustice
That was just like us
To put so much gunpowder into our wow

Butterfly, Moon, Bed

And ever since those days
I still pray to your angels before sleep
Let them know they’ve served me well
Let them know there’s so much more to life
I now understand
Since I’ve studied those maps of the world
Etched into the palms of your hands

And when you’d touch me
I was here, there, everywhere

I was that brightly burning candle
In the cathedral of peace
Was the fourteenth way to see a blackbird
The first smile on nuptial lips
The last bead in the devil’s rosary
I talked trash with the cleaning lady
At the Hotel Zen
Sat at the feet of Sister Dark
As she told me over and over again

How your angels have been there from the very beginning
Watching over you
Guiding you

Each and every step of the way
Granting you gifts:
Oracle of daisies
Ocean passion
Tree patience

How you’ve shared those gifts with me
How you’ve given me this story:

Butterfly, Moon, Bed

Like a Russian mobster tattoo
This is you forever inked into my flesh
Telling that story of us

The story written deep inside me
Into my every breath
My every step

So know that wherever I go
Whenever I move
You move me


If you’d like to listen to the track, or download a free version, go HERE.

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RICH FERGUSON has performed nationally, and has shared the stage with Patti Smith, Wanda Coleman, Exene Cervenka, T.C. Boyle, Jerry Stahl, Bob Holman, Loudon Wainwright, Ozomatli, and many other esteemed poets and musicians. He has performed on The Tonight Show, at the Redcat Theater in Disney Hall, the New York City International Fringe Festival, the Bowery Poetry Club, South by Southwest, the Santa Cruz Poetry Festival, Stephen Elliott’s Rumpus, and with UK-based poetry collective One Taste. He is also a featured performer in the film, What About Me? (the sequel to the double Grammy-nominated film 1 Giant Leap), featuring Michael Stipe, Michael Franti, k.d. lang, Krishna Das, and others. He has been published in the LA TIMES, Opium Magazine, has been widely anthologized, spotlighted on PBS (Egg: The Art Show), and was a winner in Opium Magazine’s Literary Death Match, LA. His spoken word/music videos have been featured at poetry film festivals throughout the world. Ferguson is a Pushcart-nominated poet, and a poetry editor at The Nervous Breakdown. His poetry collection 8th & Agony has been published by L.A.’s Punk Hostage Press.

2 responses to “Butterfly, Moon, Bed”

  1. New Orleans Lady says:

    Jesus, Rich.
    How do you do it?

    • Hah, sometimes I wonder that myself, Ashley. Thanks so much for listening/reading, my dear. And for the kind words as well. Hope our paths cross in 3D some day. It’s been way too long since I’ve been back to New Orleans.

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