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10 Insect Poems

Updated on September 25, 2015
chef-de-jour profile image

Andrew has a keen interest in all aspects of poetry and writes extensively on the subject. His poems are published online and in print.

Demoiselle | Source

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,

twitching electrically.

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

on earth.


Peacock butterfly
Peacock butterfly
We Love Bugs: 31 Classic Insect Poems for Kids (We Love Poetry) (Volume 1)
We Love Bugs: 31 Classic Insect Poems for Kids (We Love Poetry) (Volume 1)

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?


Honey Bee
Honey Bee | Source

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.

Humdrum workaholics,

slaves to a fat aristocrat

keen to maintain the illusion

of community.

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

fold wings.


Spider Mite enlarged
Spider Mite enlarged | Source

6. Spider Mites

Minute molecules

of pinhead blood

roaming at random

in a hard surface


feeding on



of deja vu

breezes carry away

from house to

headstone. Heart

seed in zillions


into the narrowest



Bumble Bee on a flower
Bumble Bee on a flower | Source

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.


Woodlice | Source

8. Woodlice

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.


Moth with Patterned Wings.
Moth with Patterned Wings. | Source

9. Moths

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.


Crane Fly
Crane Fly | Source

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

of distress.

Where to now

large one?

Don't weld wings

to a hot lamp

go lightly

through the night

feathering blundering.


Very Strong Insects


All photographs by chef-de-jour unless otherwise stated.

© 2013 Andrew Spacey


Submit a Comment
  • chef-de-jour profile imageAUTHOR

    Andrew Spacey 

    4 years ago from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK

    Thank you for the supportive visit, always welcome.

  • kurtreifschneider profile image

    Kurt James 

    4 years ago from Loveland Colorado

    Thank you for some much needed inspiration in how to present some of my own poetry...Awesome work by the way...

  • chef-de-jour profile imageAUTHOR

    Andrew Spacey 

    5 years ago from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK

    Kylyssa - thank you for the visit, like a bee to a flower? As children we're often in wonder of wildlife - and often frightened! Glad these poems weren't too creepy.

  • Kylyssa profile image

    Kylyssa Shay 

    5 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

    Your poetry reminds me of my childhood fascination with insects. Thanks for the feelings.

  • abbaelijah profile image


    5 years ago from Abuja - Nigeria

    Nice and lovely collection of animal poems.

    well done oh....

  • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

    Vinaya Ghimire 

    5 years ago from Nepal

    Beautiful collections of poems. These are gems but according to my mood I choose Butterfly.

  • chef-de-jour profile imageAUTHOR

    Andrew Spacey 

    5 years ago from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK

    Many thanks for the kind visit and comment. Yes, these dragon flies are excellent hunters and will take many large flies and as you witnessed a wasp. They have 2 pairs of 'cellophane' wings.I'd love to see them in slow motion, they have such agility.

  • annart profile image

    Ann Carr 

    5 years ago from SW England

    What an entertaining journey through the insect world. I love demoiselles or dragon-flies; their colours are so varied. I once watched a large, lime-green and yellow dragon-fly devour a wasp and I could hear the crunching. All that remained of the wasp were the wings! Amazing creatures, amazing photos and amazing words. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Ann

  • old albion profile image

    Graham Lee 

    5 years ago from Lancashire. England.

    Great work here chef. Informative and imaginative Well done.


  • jhamann profile image

    Jamie Lee Hamann 

    6 years ago from Reno NV

    This is some wonderful poetry with so much more to offer than the lives of insects. Thank you for sharing. jamie

  • chef-de-jour profile imageAUTHOR

    Andrew Spacey 

    6 years ago from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK

    Many thanks for the visit and comment, appreciate that.

  • cat on a soapbox profile image

    Catherine Tally 

    6 years ago from Los Angeles

    Wonderful work! I really enjoyed these- especially The Bumble Bees and Canal Demoiselle.


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