Butterflies to the Night

She leaned forward. The lives of young doctors stolen, as anger built patients with the light of this phone beneath the water. Panicking over, she was happy almost. She remained in her seat. It was like aftershave. Long before the frosts anxious veneer mouthed at her. [Pages i – 24]

Two people must be sure the new man’s not wrong. He was having the fantasies she made. His head doing rounds, hoping to achieve lust anywhere, like a sore. [Pages 25 – 41]

During the patient’s thoughts, more pieces of his mother’s facelift stray through the wire of the cage. Easy to read shadows under his whispered questions joining them sweetly together. [Pages 42 – 59]

The invitation – While I’m happy to have the bird and his coffee, to take a deep breath over their behaviour. It wasn’t ideal. I had to swallow the tube. [Pages 60 – 69]

She had to remain immune. Shedding eyes she said raked over her. [Pages 70 – 76]

It was her lips, stretched impossibly. Imploded because that might suggest she’d be the person who died of string and the stick he held towards him (which up to now only his mother had been allowed to use). [Pages 77 – 87]

The easy way out in his life after five years? She smiled to herself, then added. “The umbrella of care shut firmly”. Gleaming like a beacon of sense. [Pages 88 – 99]

Hell was in places other than fast food outlets and i was reading the phone. What’s wrong with the typist there? She’s got his early days comatose. Once driven away, his silence eluded him. [Pages 100 – 114]

He tried to squint out through the frost. Promising his scrambled catch her secrets. [Pages 115 – 122]

Perfect with everything, the vacuum sleep. Spare a daisy to redeem all she could feel. His heart a different field of law. His empty hope, money at your table. [Pages 123 – 138]

The boy had been up there without you while I could wonder if a human body could have plenty to occupy their open scowl and if they all watch time cleaning the windows? [Pages 139 – 155]

The court on her front door taking samples and the woman never failed to thrill. Black behaviour to the end. This room – Black as their bodies. Worse than a mile of long pity in her head. [Pages 156 – 175]

She had circus time. On their way he had begun taking her hand. Butterflies to the night. [Pages 176 – 185]

Method – A 5mm hole was drilled at a random place through an entire copy of ‘The Doctor’s Destiny’ by Meredith Webber and published by Mills and Boon 2003. A word, or word string from every consecutive printed page was selected from the text where that string exists at least in part within an imaginary circle having the diameter of a 1p piece with its centre at the drilled hole. No words were shortened or altered in any way. No words were added. Words and word strings were used in page order and every page (except blanks) was used to compose the text. Punctuation and capitalisation was added.


Winston Plowes is a hare chasing bicycles and winning by miles in the summer. In winter he categorises found jigsaw pieces and tunes his cutlery. Each night he waits with his cat under starlight for his found poems to return to roost from the pages of journals published worldwide to his floating home in Calderdale UK. www.winstonplowes.co.uk

This poem originally appeared on Revolution John and has been pulled and reprinted here by the author’s request.

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