Posts Tagged ‘yellowjackets’

Poetry Challenge 51

July 9, 2010

This is the time of insects here in the Interior.   Here at Mattie’s Pillow, we hear the buzz of yellowjackets everywhere.  There’s a nest in the hay barn, one in the eaves above our grill (logical place, if you’re a yellowjacket), and one in the greenhouse.  They are in a perpetual state of agitation; any vibration or movement near the nest sets them off.

So, it’s time for a poem about an insect.  Have one crawl through the poem, or have it land on a line somewhere.  Be amazed at it, or be indifferent.  Let sound be part of the poem, the small peripheral sounds that you don’t notice at first, until they stop.

Here’s one.  Send me one of yours and I’ll post it here!


The Stink Bug on Joe’s Shirt

We talk in sun

then the sudden chill

of cumulus, stacked

high with moisture, then heat

at our backs, on our faces,

the scrubbed blue

sky.  You lean against

a lounge chair.  Your hair,


wild as the clouds,

curls with the charge

and buzz that fills

your blood.  We talk.

We watch your face.

The cloud passes, all

that roiling not yet

enough to loose sparks,

and the blue shadows,

your eyes.  A bug



a small bronze shield, totters

up your shirt, legs

like shaved whiskers,

bent to cling above

the “l” in “devil,”

climbing up the curled

tail toward your shoulder,

all it needs for a cliff.


Someone reaches

to flick it where it gleams.

Your prize:

the grown-back hair

the numbness gone

the sun in its place

and you striding

beneath it—one

bug suddenly flicked

away.  A stink.

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