2018 April PAD Challenge: Day 13

For today’s prompt, pick an insect (any insect), make it the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “Praying Mantis,” “Ants,” and “Grasshoppers.” I’ll even except other creepy crawlies, like spiders, slugs, and leeches (shiver). Sorry in advance if this prompt gives you the heebie-jeebies; feel free to use insect repellent in your verse.

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Here’s my attempt at an Insect Poem:

“crickets”

as an adult, i miss the chirp of crickets–
familiar as a distant train whistle–
filling the void of midnight with white noise

in the same way fireflies illuminate
the early evening hour, crickets long ago
claimed a chunk of my childhood memory

so that now i hear them–both day & night–
when others hear nothing: crickets filling
the dark silence that threatens to smother me

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Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He smiles when he thinks of laying in bed as a child and listening to the crickets outside.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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286 thoughts on “2018 April PAD Challenge: Day 13

  1. sincerescribe

    Locust Acrostic

    Labeled in the bible as clean to eat,
    Only it and honey served as John’s meat.
    Creature able to destroy a whole crop—
    Used as a plague, God made Pharaoh stop.
    Swarming behavior is its common scene,
    Traveling great distance to consume green.

  2. agolly

    The Mosquitoes

    Everywhere you go
    You will encounter
    Them.

    Repellent does nothing,
    Except make you
    Smell better for
    Them.

    Repellent is known to
    Be the Minnesota
    Perfume because of
    Them.

    No one likes
    Them.

    Noisy things.
    They can’t seem to
    Stay quiet.
    You can spend the
    Whole night trying
    To find
    Them.

    You will never find
    Them.

    They find
    You.

  3. Linda Hatton

    Booklice

    Wingless members of the family
    Trogiidae, commonly found
    in human dwellings,
    these tiny authors
    feed on scripts, spit
    them out for tenants to find.
    The Psocoptera evolved
    from ancient scribes
    but have lost all recollection
    of manuscript keeping.
    Poor eyesight and pen-
    less, they communicate
    using sound instead,
    tap with the end
    of their abdomens, using Morse
    code in a faint ticking noise
    and chewing to communicate
    stories like that of
    Violet Beauregarde.

    After Amateur Etymologists’ Society (https://www.amentsoc.org/insects/fact-files/orders/psocoptera.html)

  4. BDP

    “Friends, Our Dragonflies”

    The four-winged insect eaters zip around. High noon.
    We picnic near the beach, down a slope from our farm and stream.
    Mosquitoes attack from their strategic firmament,
    with pinprick stings seeking blood. They occlude sunbeams,

    or so it seems to us. Their military band of wee fiddlers bow away
    off-key, such is their sound, a kind of scratching high C.
    Our counter operatives dispatch from their cattails heli-port—
    we’ve code named them Beautiful. Always with a capital B,

    and not just because they help rid us of our state bird,
    the skeeter. They’re sweet tales for our lake, our family mini-sea,
    making us feel we each have a story iridescence, we’re merchants to a man,
    a woman of who we are. We touch drinks, and a dragonfly lands on me.

    —B Peters

    Endwords, Emily Dickinson, “Two Butterflies Went Out at Noon”

  5. Brian Slusher

    COCCINELLIDAE

    To me you are
    Red with black spots
    But you may be yellow
    Or brown or even
    Black, and outfitted
    With stripes or not
    One dot. All over
    You’re known as
    A good luck bug
    Even though you
    Are not even really
    A bug, but a beetle
    Whose spots don’t
    Tell your true age,
    Though that myth
    Persists. What are
    You ladybug? Ladybrid?
    Sometimes named
    God’s Little Cow or
    Tiny Messiah, you fly
    Through our lives
    As we try to define
    You, believe your
    Black marks speak
    Of Seven Joys or
    Seven Sorrows,
    But you just fly
    On home, though
    “Your house is burning
    And your children
    Are gone.”

  6. MargoL

    Bees in marmalade jars

    When I was young,
    life was fun and easy.

    I’d spend lazy summer days
    collecting bees

    in empty marmalade jars
    with my best friend Helen.

    We’d gaze at them in
    amazement and wonder.

    With stripes yellow and black
    uncertain with their piping buzz.

    Then we’d carefully open the jars
    releasing the buzzing prisoners,

    contented to spend the entire day
    in our world of imagination.

    I’d climb into my bed
    as the clock struck nine,

    dreaming of the next day,
    eager to repeat it all over again.

    © April 2018 Margo LeBlanc

  7. LCaramanna

    Dragonfly

    One summer day
    on the lee side of Cherry Island
    my canoe slipped through
    blue windless water
    rippled only by an occasional dip
    of my paddle to propel the glide.
    A dragonfly hovered,
    poised above my wrist
    on transparent wings.
    An iridescent glow of
    neon blue, electric lime, laser yellow
    in the angles of sunlight,
    a dragonfly hovered
    for a sixty second minute
    of mutual consideration;
    I, in fascination of this fancied flier,
    he, in hidden hunger to defy nature,
    bite this human who
    had invaded his space.
    One summer day
    on the lee side of Cherry Island
    a dragonfly hovered above my wrist
    for a sixty second minute,
    then darted off
    unaware he had alighted upon
    a soul whose
    heart yearned to fly free.

    Lorraine Caramanna

  8. Michelle Hed

    Booklice

    Amongst the musty tomes
    of leather bindings
    crackled and flaking with age,
    lives a small bookish bug
    who dines on fine mold
    beneath the wooden shelves
    of an ancient library.

    He has breakfast
    with Scott
    and spends his days
    crawling Shakespeare’s spine
    and his evenings
    nibbling on Hemmingway’s prose.

    He has a lot of work to do
    but he never waivers
    on his task
    for rarely is there a day
    without a book
    needing some company.

  9. Pat Walsh

    fireflies
    by Patrick J. Walsh

    like rabbits that hop out
    of magic top hats
    when the magician
    waves his wand

    fireflies stringing lights
    in the gathering darkness
    make the chilly nights
    seem a lot less scary

  10. Jrentler

    insects lack heart

    their blood
    free flows
    splashing

    some weave traps
    other roll sh*t
    there are those
    punching night
    with light
    & fiddling sticks

    oh to be
    one of the winged

    but no
    i’m bug-eyed at yoga
    lurking into poses
    all carapace & thorax

    & after class
    i click loud enuff
    for his lady bug to hear

    what’d i’d do
    if i discovered
    the route
    to his honeycomb
    heart

  11. Asha1000

    Mosquitoes

    Mortal enemies of humans.
    In Spanish, they are “little flies”.

    Ninos y ninas

    Only the mother bites.
    She needs blood to make her babies;
    fresh water for them to grow in.

    Children play in rain water ponds

    With her arsenal of weapons –
    six needles sheathed in her proboscis,
    two of them serrated –
    she saws through skin searching
    for the richest vessels. She drinks.

    The people are starving

    Mother leaves behind saliva.
    Sometimes it contains parasites
    and viruses, harmless to her
    but deadly to humans.

    Exterminate! Eliminate!
    There is no immunity!

    – Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming

  12. billkirkwrites

    For April 13 PAD
    Driven Buggy Or A Driven Buggy—Weird, Huh?
    By Bill Kirk

    What is it about bugs that bug us so?
    Their creepy, crawly nature perhaps?
    Or simply that they creep and crawl
    In so many places and spaces,
    Leaving unwanted traces of where they have been?

    And yet, bugs can be buggy or beneficial,
    Both bothering us beyond measure,
    Or making the difference in whether we will eat
    Certain edibles we would prefer to not do without.

    The world around there are bugs
    Of seemingly endless variety and number.
    Not that we have ever been overrun, mind you.
    Well, with the sporadic exception of ants
    Which, once they start—
    First with scouts, to test the resistance,
    Or perhaps reception is a better word—
    Followed by hunters and gatherers
    And, finally, by the housekeepers
    If a long-term encampment is intended.
    Yet other than a few memorable infestations,
    Bugs have not been a big deal or a deal breaker.
    They’re just bugs that either bug us or not.

    Some folks might even declare a favorite bug
    Of one kind or another, whether beetles or
    Ladybugs or rolley-polleys that roll up into cute little balls.
    As for earwigs and silverfish, I will pass.
    And although centipedes, millipedes and spiders
    Are not bugs in the strictest, six-legged sense,
    They are interesting to watch,
    Then catch and release….

    Then there are roaches which,
    To clarify early and often, you can keep.
    They are among the creepiest, crawliest and
    Speediest of escape artists in the bug world—
    Appearing as if out of nowhere
    Only to disappear just as quickly.
    And if you didn’t think roaches can fly,
    Just wait until mating season… Ffffdddddd, SMACK!

    Oh, and last but not least? Termites,
    Although apparently widespread,
    They do seem to flourish particularly well in Florida.
    I never paid much attention to termites
    Before we moved to Florida
    But in Florida, they are ever present,
    Living in the ground or low vegetation by day,
    Like ants or beetles or other crawly things.
    Then they come out at night to play.

    And did I mention their swarms?
    You will see them during their annual spring cycle
    In great clouds around lights after dark—
    To the point that the best strategy
    Is simply to turn off the outside lights
    And hope they don’t find a way in
    Through any crack or crevice around
    Doors, windows and any other unintended entry point.
    They are indeed insidious. And they will eat your house
    If it is not properly defended.

    As for dealing with bugs?
    Deet! Spray! Glove!

  13. thunk2much

    worm splitting

    it can’t be helped I whispered
    as I worked my shovel
    through layers of dirt,
    exposed worms jumping
    at the fresh spring air
    like newly-caught fish

    there are just too many
    I told myself gently
    desperately trying to forgive
    myself and my shovel
    for all the new half-worms
    that didn’t jump along

  14. mattmacd

    Ants

    Somedays I am just not feeling
    good enough to get out of bed.

    The point? The need? The Want?
    Where are they and why am I
    not smart enough to use them
    to pry myself from comfort?

    Acquiescence wins, and I get up.
    I start the day. The wave of routine holds my head under.

    I start
    to make breakfast for other people.
    I pour
    hot water for tea.
    I prepare
    the food.
    I
    see ants. Well, one ant, really.
    Not an uncommon sight in springtime.

    “Where one perishes, two more shall rise”,
    I think as my cocked
    middle finger fires my discovery
    to oblivion.

    Two more didn’t rise. Contrary to most perceptions
    my house is a lot cleaner than that.

    I set about to accomplish my task and
    I eventually make it to
    my cup of coffee
    without the realization that
    there wasn’t much difference between
    that ant and me.

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