National Insect Week Poetry Challenge: Join Yvonne Marjot, Anjum Wasir Dar, Dai Fry, Imogen Forster, Susie Wilson and myself. Monday: Dragonflies, Tuesday: Wasps And Bees,Wednesday: Ants, Thursday: Beetles, Friday: Butterflies, Saturday: Moths, Sunday: Flies and sundry insects. Email me and I will add yours to my daily wordpress posts, also posted to Twitter and Facebook. You can still add to all posts. Here are today’s: Beetles

Thursday’s post: Beetle


Some beetles have fantastic colours which persist even across thousands of years as a fossil, retaining their iridescence, which they have even though they are nocturnal and which is counted, scientifically, as an enigma.

Beyond the sea of Madagascar,
our floating island prison,
he is more blue and far more lovely every night.

Beyond the dark blue evening
and the dusk men think we come to life in,
he hangs pulsating in the sky: cyan, cerulean.

His hardened wings he has made for himself:
ammonia, hydrogen, iced methane capes,
still iridescing in thousand-mile winds.

Each night we arrange our ridged back plates,
our blue and half blue horns and antennae
ready to send back a signal to you.

I will swim over the hills of the stars.
I will leave behind my desert isle ship.
No more will we wait here waving, waving

our arc’d antennae every endless dark evening.
Hydrogen, await me! Ammonia, embrace me!
Wild rocking of poles in each rotation until we meet.

Oh, Neptune! Beautiful bluest of blue,
Whose light we creep out to reflect each night,
Tell us the time to fly up to you!

-Susie Wilson

sonja Beetles


. water men and beetles .

there are a few, those who should tidy,
those who pump and clear, those who
water beetles float their legs, paddle
the river, dimpling surface. hang on
the bridge , warming back and watch.

water men wear high visibility, while
the beetle shines black.

lately we have cut the paths
and planted bluebells.

the graffiti
of firefly stars at dusk
we follow
until our eyes adjust
to the narrative of night

tanka published in Earth: Our Common Ground, April 2017

-Debbie Strange

611. black beetle

have you read of them before?
the beetles here turn over,
legs waving, we turn them back,
it is all repeated.
empathy kicks in
for all small folk
who suffer, who cry
in dark corners.
we know he will die,
yet cannot save him.
all is in disorder.


.288 beetle.
it was my beetle, dead, not buried.
i keep them, yet it fell
to the floor,
mysteriously lost.
we try to turn disasters round,
here, knowing it will be found,
some time.
my dear sweet sexton, the burying kind.
aptly the grave digger, it seems
you can buy dead insects on line.

..harry lime..

i am a detective a bit
harry lime
looking for a beetle
blackened ; crusty with a smart serge suit from
foster brothers

went missing a week or so ago
the full moon following

reported by a family in the
cellar concerned

by its legs waving wildly ; sock dangling
backed on flagged floor

missing person

crisp printed poster



There’s a lot
of to and fro
on the flat patio stones.

I lack their language
size and drive.
So consequently,
a world of mystery
exists under my feet.

The economy
lockdown and the NHS
are as strange to these
beetles as a distant
neutron star.

“Where’s my dung ball
I’m sure I left it over there”

© Dai Fry 24th June 2020.

Chrysolina Americana: Rosemary Beetle

Opportunists, night-arrivants
on some aromatic spoor,
in their bronze clusters
they chew the tough leaves
with relentless mouthparts,
leaving a dry grey ruin.

Under the microscope
they are beautiful: striped,
red and green, iridescent.

Crushed in my fingers
they have the dark
rosemary smell of sticky
pine resin, varnished pews
and the creosote dust
of old garden sheds.

I kill them, but I am
glad they come.
I should dislike them
much more than I do.

-Imogen Forster
Dung Beetles

Our lass and I often roll
away your dung ball together,
dig a nice hole for it,
drop it in, and cover it.

Below ground, our lass reworks
your dung into the shape of a pear,
leaves the top hollow,
where she inserts her eggs.

When the larvae hatch,
they have more than enough to eat,
eventually pupating
before emerging into the light.

-Paul Brookes

On Beetles ~ The Blister Beetle of Europe

I, the Blister Beetle of Europe am feeling so
proud to be named as “The Insect of the Year”,

Let the Ancient Greeks know that  I am  the
“endangered species”, and  I am still the best,

My healing properties are vital, deadly toxic
secretions Cantharidin  a healing salve , an

Aphrosidiac, the best of forty types of oil
beetles, my poison helps to kill enemies,

The Greeks know it, if I am threatened I
secrete more drops, my home is in sandy

Open spaces dry meadows and orchards
part of human culture for more than 4000

Years, watch out, my odorless  droplets
cause blisters,I use it to protect larvae

Though I am hardly 10 to 35 millimeters in
size,valued  high I am Crowned “Insect 2020”

My Cantharidin is enough to kill one adult
one blister beetle for one human, plenty.

-Anjum Wasim Dar
Copyright CER 2020

Bios And Links

-Imogen Forster

lives and works in Edinburgh. In more normal times she’s active in a number of reading and writing groups in the city. She has an MA in Writing Poetry from Newcastle University, and has published poems in various online and print magazines. She expects to have a pamphlet next year, and tweets as @ForsterImogen.

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