It’s settled boldly on our white front door,
an emblem with the look of something rare;
soft arrowhead in simple origami,
printed with patterns not quite black and white,
but pale vanilla, bitter chocolate,
in glam rock zigzags, like a dazzle ship.
It flies, and its flashed underskirts are gaudy,
the perfect shade of tinned tomato soup.
Their home is Portugal, is Greece, is Russia.
There’s one famed island valley where they swarm.
It’s only natural for them to come
into this land of high unnatural pressure.
Their shtick is to bear whole wide bright worlds here,
enrich thin lives, exoticise plain air.
‘Jersey Tiger Moth’ by Mark Totterdell received a special mention in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly poetry competition (August 2019) judged by Roger Elkin.