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Monarch Butterflies Make a Comeback in California by Paul J. Willis

Updated: Feb 11

Volume 10: Satellite of Love is fortunate to have the work of nine of Santa Barbara's Poets Laureate. Paul J. Willis was the Poet Laureate from 2011-2013.

Monarch Butterflies Make a Comeback in California

by Paul J. Willis

It gives our hearts considerable ease

to see the monarchs cluster in the trees

once more. They had so dwindled here of late,

we feared that they had met their final fate.

But now the winter eucalyptus show

their resting numbers grow, and grow, and grow.

And as we contemplate them in the sun,

we think of all the awful things we’ve done

to extirpate these creatures from the earth—

our fossil fuels, our aerosols, our dearth

of care. And then we think, But what’s the use?

The butterflies are back—that’s our excuse!

Each of the Poets Laureate has their own section in Volume 10. Paul's is titled "Civic-Minded." To purchase Volume 10, visit out bookstore or amazon. Volume 10 will be in local Santa Barbara bookstores in late February.

Paul served as the fourth poet laureate of Santa Barbara from 2011-2013. He has published seven collections of poetry, the most recent of which is Somewhere to Follow (Slant, 2021). He has also recently published a YA Elizabethan time-travel novel, All in a Garden Green (Slant, 2020), and the essay collection To Build a Trail (WordFarm, 2018). He is an emeritus professor of English at Westmont College. You may visit his website at

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