#NationalInsectWeek 21st-27th June. Monday-Beetles. Anybody written poems about insects? Artworks/photos welcome too. References to poems/artwork other than your own I will show as links in the post, unless the referenced author welcomes my use of their work. Here are the prompts for the week: Monday – Beetles, Tuesday – Cockroaches, Wednesday – Flies, Thursday – Mayflies, Friday – Butterflies, Saturday – Ant, Bee and Wasp, Sunday – Dragonflies

Monday – Beetles

insect week

An Amazing, Alliterative, Incredible Insect Invasion

Big buzzing bees blagged my bananas
Hornets hid half of my ham
Six scary spiders scoffed my spicy sausages
Four flies filched my fruit flan

Ants ate all my apples (as always)
Crazed crickets crunched my carrot crisps
Beetles bit bits of my brown bread
Chiggers cheerfully chewed my chips

While wiggly worms whipped my Wotsits
Roaches removed and ran away with my rolls
Many maggots munched my mango, Mum
Twenty-two tiny ticks took my toast

That perfect picnic I precisely planned
A wonderful one-off occasion
Was decimated, demolished and destroyed
By an amazing, alliterative, incredible insect invasion

-Neal Zetter

Whirligig beetle

You think me superficial
but a surface is where
two worlds collide. Yes,
I look on the bright side
but my other half
eyes the depths.

You see stillness

but I’m on edge:
disturb me & I’ll scatter
like spilt quicksilver,
spiralling wildly
as a charged particle
in a bubble chamber.

-Andy MacGregor

Green Tiger Beetle

In a marram forest sweetened by lilac trumpets
of shore convolvulus, a tiny sun-crazed tiger
lies in wait, coiled as a steel spring.

With the sky as sharp as a blade,
in full lustre, this gaudy long-legged lady,
in sea-green dress and purple stockings

scans the dunes in fearful symmetry;
still as the breath of a foxglove
until fast as fire in parched moorland

she sprints after a spider, tears across crumbs
of silica and seashell. Six-legged slayer, she grabs,
decapitates, gorges with guillotine jaws.

-Annest Gwilym (from her collection: What The Owl Taught Me, 2020 and previously published in Poetry Space)

scarab by John Hawkhead

A Stag Beetle

Scratch decayed wood until it splinters. Hunt
these spikes for soft white wood swallow inside.
Indigestible I make a hard front,
swallow soil ready to throw back up outside.

Create a smooth cover, give myself horns,
six legs, two wings all soft and white. Don’t know
how I know how, where, and what shapes to form,
nor what light is, till lust makes me go,

shift this bulk, these wings buzz into hot bright.
There can be a few in battle for her.
My heavy horns twist, locked in long fight
to straddle her. Must turn them all over.

Hungered in dark most of my life.
Brief lusty flight, fight and sex in the light

-Paul Brookes (from The Insect Sonnets First published in David O’Nan’s Fevers of The Mind)

One thought on “#NationalInsectWeek 21st-27th June. Monday-Beetles. Anybody written poems about insects? Artworks/photos welcome too. References to poems/artwork other than your own I will show as links in the post, unless the referenced author welcomes my use of their work. Here are the prompts for the week: Monday – Beetles, Tuesday – Cockroaches, Wednesday – Flies, Thursday – Mayflies, Friday – Butterflies, Saturday – Ant, Bee and Wasp, Sunday – Dragonflies

  1. I wrote this one just yesterday:

    “Transmigration of a Soul”

    I’m not saying that I believe in
    The transmigration of souls but
    A few months after Daisy died
    A fly must have come in through
    The open window because
    I noticed it on the wall by my desk.
    Normally I shoo flies away
    Whenever I see them but this time
    Something softened in my heart
    And I couldn’t bring myself to do that.
    I returned to my writing and
    The next time I looked up
    The fly was still on the wall.
    Slowly I placed my hand
    On the wall next to the fly
    But the fly did not flit away
    As flies often do. I lowered my hand.
    Later that night I closed the window
    Turned off the light and went to bed.
    In the morning, the fly was still there
    So I opened the window
    And returned to my writing
    But the fly stayed on the wall beside me.
    This continued for several days
    Until one morning when I came into the room
    I found the fly on its back unmoving.
    Again, something softened in my heart.
    I gently lifted the fly in my hand,
    Took it outside and laid it gently
    Among the blades of cool grass.
    I don’t know why I thought of this
    Just now, but maybe death comes back
    Once in a while to softly remind us
    Of love’s loss and transmigration.

    June 20, 2021
    (c) Mike Stone 2021

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