The truth is I should have at least mentioned- in that post- a rather interesting and wonderful fact about it: that it originated in a dream.
True story. I was asleep on the couch power napping as my daughter was playing nearby ... I was in a sort of 'in-between' state of wake and sleep when gradually these very lines- in meter, mind you!- came to me:
But then I there within a husk
That dangled from an Aspen tusk
I woke up and immediately wrote it down- surprised, as I mentioned, that they rhymed and were in tetrameter.
Now I don't know how the subject of the dream emerged, but what I do know is that its point revolved around the idea internal change followed by redemption- with the cocoon (the husk) symbolizing the process.
Before I knew it I found myself completely absorbed in constructing a poem around these lines. I already knew what the meter would be, knew that quatrains would make up the stanzas, and I essentially knew that I'd use aabb as the rhyme scheme. What I didn't have was much material to construct the appropriate images for the poem.
But then- and this is no joke- the very next day Nova aired The Incredible Journey of the Butterflies, a documentary about the "2,000-mile migration of monarchs to a sanctuary in the highlands of Mexico". It goes without saying, I was thrilled.
And so the reason for this particular post was to share the source of inspiration behind the poem, namely, a dream. I'll re-post it in the comments area if you'd like to read it (or, just click on the 'Monarch' link above). Also, and I really recommend this, click the link for that documentary ... it's only 52 minutes and way worth the while.