10 Insect Poems
Introduction to 10 Insect Poems
Original poems all about insects, inspired by bugs.
Who isn't fascinated by the sight of a butterfly as it flits from flower to flower? They fly in such a haphazard way and when they land open their wings to reveal such a wonderful variety of patterns and designs. For some they herald the true start of spring. The ancient Greeks and other peoples believed they carried the souls of those recently dead.
Insects come in many shapes and sizes, with or without wings, usually with legs. There are over a million species both helping and hindering humans! They delight and disgust. They carry diseases but also pollinate our fruit trees and other plants.
What about a moth fluttering around a bright light at night? What drives this creature to seek the light?
Have you ever watched a cricket or grasshopper walk along the ground or climb up a long grass stalk? Then been amazed as they leaped into the air with a single click of their legs!!
Show a child a woven spider's web and you'll see instant wonder. Introduce them to the spider who made it and you may witness instant shock!
Insects tend to evoke either dread or sheer surprise and puzzlement. I've long been taken by their creepy crawliness, shapes and bizarre behaviour. This lifelong interest in Nature and poetry comes together in this small collection of insect poems. I hope you enjoy them.
1. Canal Demoiselle
I follow this blue blur
from sapling oak to meadowsweet
to that confluence where
river meets canal and colours
mingle reddish green becoming
silver grey between birch and willow.
She lands, an ephemeral craft.
Bendy legs of black wire
barely touch the leaf's freshness
as her four wings stretch
like see through antiques,
her eyes, blackberry drupes,
She tames the snarling bramble,
takes in the sun,
the metallic hues of her body
charging the air again as she
flies, fragile as a summer seed
carrying all those hopes past tattoed fishermen
her first and last act
A beautiful book with many great poems for the younger reader. Your child will certainly learn a lot about poetry and insects with this excellent anthology.
2. Question from a Butterfly
This morning I am reborn
without memory, free and fragile,
a sum of contradictions
caught in a suntrap.
I carry the abstract,
fly between shadows,
sip from unlikely springs.
What do you wake from
unusual walker, how far
will you follow on the track?
3. Bees In A Tree
Summer's ambrosia speeds them on,
Neruda's reckless militias, a pack
of poison in their behinds
a Queen's decree dancing inside
each laser beam mission
to a mass of buckwheat.
slaves to a fat aristocrat
keen to maintain the illusion
Faith makers, obsessed,
dark bullets streaming
over sheep pen, spent potatoe haulms.
Have they a crucial deadline
they dare not miss?
They exit and enter the dark slit
in a swaying sap filled poplar.
4. Your Weekend Away
The mattress where you aren't
is sculpting your shape
as I watch a spider climb
its own silken thread
back to where it first
began to abseil
for no apparent reason.
5. Storm Before The Calm
A lapse of time,
a butterfly loses its mind
at the window, a frantic
act of shadow play
in such gothic light.
This is the house where
souls are released
never to return.
The wood discovers
itself when the wind attacks.
A pigeon stupified in flight
is thrown across ploughed fields,
a roughed up bird caught in
thunderous greys gathering
on the hill, a longed for dark
butterflies hold when they
6. Spider Mites
of pinhead blood
roaming at random
in a hard surface
of deja vu
breezes carry away
from house to
seed in zillions
into the narrowest
7. The Bumble Bees
The fat orange moon looked down
on these summer drunkards. One
by one they fell, inebriated, into
already dewy grass like heavy wax
from candle flower flame.
There they struggle still, uncoordinated
under this horse chestnut, a hazy
sun calling them to work.
The wood makes compost.
Sweet chestnuts rot in leaf mould, bracken
browns and slowly disintegrates into rust.
Bramble and holly cheat with tough green
this becoming naked under low sun. Earth
shouts then whispers for more death
to colour the woods, to nourish the skin
of the dank soft floor. Under the damp fetid
leaf shreds woodlice crawl, grey crustaceans
left behind by forgotten tides. Sunlight injects
panic, blind desire for moist and dark, feeding
our fears based in the cessation of time, unlike
the patient trees content with fresh lit textures.
The lady next door
needs one more bottle
for the final blue light,
her mythology on the walls
in framed black and white.
Now we can walk
deserving this crisp clear air
into the domain
of moths whose names elicit
such questions, shadowy stories.
10. Crane Fly
Instant gatecrasher, this
frail irritant escapes from the dark
and dances over books
tickling the table top, thin legs
all panic and confusion is there
no way to shape his buzzing wings
to my imagination,
to sketch this spiral
Where to now
Don't weld wings
to a hot lamp
through the night
Very Strong Insects
All photographs by chef-de-jour unless otherwise stated.
© 2013 Andrew Spacey