Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 398

For today’s prompt, write a bug poem. My first thought was bug in the sense of an insect, but there are other meanings as well. For instance, spies may bug a room with small microphones. Or one person may bug (or annoy) another person by not touching them while just barely not touching them.

I hope this prompt doesn’t cause you to bug out of here.


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Here’s my attempt at a Bug Poem:

“Bugs and Pop”

Some say they’re insects, but I call them bugs;
some drink from glasses, but I prefer mugs.

You can drink your soda, but I like pop;
some bugs fly, but others prefer to hop.


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 has now gone six months without soda pop, but Georgia is filled with bugs.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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88 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 398

  1. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    The Slug Bar
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    Gather ’round boys
    the Slug Bar is open!
    It’s Ladies night and the
    first round is on them!

    Manners be damned tonight,
    the floor is for casings,
    and salt’s for your guts!

    It’s liable to get sinfully
    wicked in here so hold
    on to your slime, boys!

    Hey you in the corner ~
    we don’t serve Crickets in here
    GET OUT! Roach charity cases
    are next door, be gone!

    And when the sun comes up
    we’ll see which one of ya
    bait trap louses if any,
    can make it out of here
    ALIVE … I hear the
    copper charge is nasty
    and there’s water
    all over the floor!

    © 2017 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  2. grcran

    You’ve Been Bugged

    Your phone was shown before your face you placed
    Its needs before your own your phone erased
    Its cookies grew new seeds you groaned your brain
    In pain it smarted social yet alone
    Condoned your browsing known by webby drone
    Big corp’rate spider cloned you with its chain
    Big corp’rate spider chained you in its zone

    gpr crane

  3. Jane Shlensky

    Altar Call

    The flowers at the altar call
    to insects, bees, and butterflies.
    Perhaps the inchworm came along
    atop a gladiola stalk.

    Then sanctuary made him safe
    to measure worship step by step,
    traversing hymnals, offerings,
    a microscopic march of faith.

    He keeps pace with Amazing Grace,
    his measurement in treble clef,
    until he drifts diagonal
    and climbs the plate where funds abide.

    And there he meets a Ladybug
    pacing across rough piles of green,
    counting the checks and dollars dropped
    therein, a wee accountant sent

    by God to see how well we love,
    how well we help the least of these.
    We are but bugs who’ve gone astray,
    awaiting intercession here.

    1. ppfautsch24

      His love bugs me,
      making my skin itch for his touch
      as thoughts of him crawl in the back of my mind.
      His bite injection raised a welt on my heart
      and soul.
      No exterminator needed, because he can
      buzz around my home during the day and
      lite in my bedroom at night.
      By Pamelap

  4. Eileen S

    untitled bug haiku

    light speckles flicker
    fireflies reflect on lake
    mirror placid pool
    warm weather marshes
    attract pesky greenhead flies
    harass sun seekers
    citronella pail
    emits warm glow to repel
    pesky mosquitos
    woodpeckers perch on
    woody bark crevice seeking
    tasty insect joy
    spotted red cocoon
    attack agricultural pests
    welcome lady bug
    honey bees swiftly
    pollenate raspberry bush
    creating red fruit

  5. qbit

    Bugging You

    My intentions
    Might seem honorable,
    But beware
    They might be infectious –

    If I bite you,
    Mad with passion,
    You may get heartworm,
    A desire you can’t shake
    Working its way toward
    Your soul.

    If I nibble
    Delicious poems
    Around your ears,
    Bookworms may unleash,
    Conspirators to keep you awake
    Just one more chapter
    At night.

    And if I feast
    On the light in your eyes,
    How the glowworms
    May show their slow way
    Through the caverns
    Of your dreams.

    Can you welcome these all
    Instead, as friends
    To your imagination’s garden?
    Bringers of air, mineral
    And looseness
    To the soil.

  6. Heather


    The constant buzz,
    sometimes louder
    as it flies by
    then recedes back as it moves away.
    It’s one constant voice,
    the kind of droning
    that exists in the background.
    White noise,
    occasionally brushed away from the ear.
    It gets louder,
    without getting closer.
    The hum becomes
    a vibration felt in the air
    a resonance
    reverberating inside,
    under the skin.
    Even though it’s rhythm
    counters my own.
    it’s persistence permeates
    until the sound
    and draws blood
    and I can’t ignore it
    any more.

    ~also posted on

  7. Walter J Wojtanik

    (Courtyard Party Underway)

    The main frame was infected;
    a virus wages war
    on its cyber mind.
    The bug tricks the brave android
    bypassing any fail–safe features.
    Meanwhile, A party rages in the courtyard.
    Technical support
    would have to wait
    for the programmers to sober up
    much later in the evening!

  8. Sara McNulty

    The Beetle

    Bug-eyed, insincere
    smile, he resembles
    a cartoon beetle.
    His voice needles
    me, gets under my
    skin like shivers
    of creepy, crawling
    fingers. Lingers after
    he has finished speaking.
    Wish he would recuse
    himself from that large
    cabinet he hangs out in.
    Maybe then, we would hear
    a pleasing voice, and see
    a smile of honesty.

  9. AJ Stewart

    Adam had ’em

    (The above work is recognized by the Guinness Book of World records as the shortest poem ever written,. The author, presumably not Adam, is unknown.)

  10. MET

    A Visit from a Luna Moth

    How lovely is lovely?
    Is there a level which loveliness is beyond itself?

    Then I saw a Luna Moth, and
    I knew my answer…
    There is loveliness beyond the words
    We possess….
    The gossamer wings of celery green
    Translucent and delicate….
    A view of angel’s wings
    On a humble moth…
    The butterfly of the night….
    Skillfully at the edge of these gentle wings
    There has been stitched deftly
    By the creator’s hand
    The satin stitch of maroon,
    A stitch, I learned clumsily as a child.
    Then two creamy moons are hung
    Upon those wings to show this moth
    Is this the ruler of the night?
    These moons almost like eyes
    Looking at me…
    As I look up this beauty…
    How frightfully magical is the Luna Moth, and
    Even it is crowned with two golden feathers.
    How such beauty could live even for one moment
    Let alone one week or ten…
    Amazes me, and
    Why that Luna Moth
    Graced my night
    With loveliness beyond words
    Gives my humbled heart
    A blessing it does not deserve.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    June 21, 2017

  11. Nancy Posey


    Before the Russians,
    before the CIA
    or Homeland Security,
    Facebook and Google
    slipped through the walls,
    charted our algorithms,
    learned our secrets
    for commercial gain

    we suspected
    that Mr. Williams,
    high school principal,
    spent lengthy stretches
    of his days, bugging
    the classrooms,
    his PA system console,
    like the controls
    of the Starship Enterprise,
    visible through his big window
    affording a full view
    of the long linoleum halls.

    How else did he learn
    all our secrets, every prank,
    every misdemeanor,
    even after-hours mischief
    we barely told one another
    in whispers?

    So when a teacher catching
    the class next door in chaos
    as their own teacher
    took a smoke break
    in the parking lot

    sent three rowdy fellows
    out of their desks,
    acting the fool,
    to his office

    it’s no wonder,
    when ushered into the room
    by Miss Flora
    to await his return,
    seeing the call button
    for their classroom,
    still unsupervised,
    they seized the chance,
    “Shut the hell up
    in there, you SOBs,”
    overlooking the override
    button, sending the call
    to every concrete block
    classroom, even the restrooms,
    the cafeteria.

    But hearing the echo
    of their own voices
    and watching through big glass
    they saw doors fly open,
    teachers, coaches, the principal
    moving toward them
    at almost
    the speed of sound.

  12. Eileen S

    The Everglades

    The southern sun reflects
    on the still gray-brown swamp.
    Brown turtles lie lazily on smooth rocks.
    Alligators swim, poking their heads
    above the surface. The blue herons
    eat small insects and stay out of the
    way of the hungry ‘gators. The tall cypress
    stick up out the water creating much needed
    shade for the wildlife. In the grass lands,
    birds alight on the majestic reeds
    and snakes slitter on land and in water.
    An ecological heaven that should be
    preserved for generations to come.

  13. taylor graham


    We expected drumming by the cedar-bark
    tepees, ancient gathering place of tribes.
    But the festival schedule got a bug in it
    and the drums were lost between amphitheater
    and creek. The meadow was silent
    except for the breath of listeners who’d come
    to hear drums speaking to soil and grasses
    and the pulse of human veins. We waited
    by the bones of a fox, invisible
    workings of maggots, bacteria, how nature
    cleans up after herself. The drums never arrived.
    But an insect-in-becoming – nymph
    with only a hint of wings – landed on your
    sleeve as you began to hum a poem; the insect
    as if practicing in search of its true form,
    its place, its voice. The rest of us
    eased into verse but very softly so as not
    to disturb the journey to its song.

  14. grcran

    not bugged any more
    “Chug-a-lug, chug-a-lug
    Make you want to holler hi-de-ho” Roger Miller

    as sun goes down i glug the moonshine from my favorite jug
    beaujolais ladybug alit she gave a shrug
    she mugged em
    hey she chugged em glugged em gave em bad bearhug
    those thrips no longer smug no need for chemical and drug
    big thank you ladybug for taking care of garden ugh

    (yep i know the Roger Miller quote is not all that pertinent to the poem… but it does kinda fit with the rhyme… and it’s just a great song that you might not know about…)

    gpr crane

  15. PowerUnit

    It bugs me that people cannot tell the truth,
    from fake news to fake science,
    or by not turning off
    the valves
    on their oral sewage pipes.

    It bugs me that fact is confused
    with fiction, it’s clear
    book sales are rock bottom
    because people can’t see
    the value
    in reading stories.

    It bugs me that the loudest voices
    are taken as the rightest,
    that intelligence is construed
    as the sound of stomping feet
    and fists pounding
    in vain
    on glass tables.

  16. SarahLeaSales

    Mom’s Day Off

    When Mom had a 24-hour bug,
    the dishes did not do themselves,
    and neither did the laundry get a bath.
    There were sticky fingers & toes,
    & a crusty little nose.
    Paper was strewn about,
    & Daddy had completely
    checked out,
    for he’d fallen asleep in the recliner
    like Rip Van Suburban Dad,
    & suffocated under all the toys
    Hannah Banana Boo had ever had.

  17. carolemt87

    The Spider and Richard Brautigan

    Lying on the bed
    propped on my elbows
    I watch a spider crawling
    towards me
    skittering between bumps of
    carpet crinkled in the shadow
    of a ceiling fan

    I don’t mind bugs
    but I’d rather not
    sleep with them

    I raise the book
    In Watermelon Sugar
    by Richard Brautigan
    casting a dark rectangle
    between the spider and
    my bed

    The spider stops
    his deeds “done and done again”
    standing in doom’s shadow
    holding one hesitant
    leg above the tawny Berber

    Brautigan’s book plummets
    “another insect funeral”
    the ketchup colored
    back cover streaks with
    a spider smeared
    across the word

  18. deringer1


    When I was still a child I caught a bug.
    I have it yet; no cure for it they say.
    Sometimes it causes stress and sometimes joy;
    I’m guessing it will never go away.

    From time to time it breaks out like a rash;
    it nags at me and will not set me free.
    There’s nothing I can do, I cannot stop
    the urge to write some kind of poetry.

  19. headintheclouds87

    Bugged by Life

    ‘What’s bugging you?’
    ‘Who’s pissed in your cornflakes?’
    Ask those eternal irritants
    Which only further frustrates
    And deepens my distaste
    For voices invading my headspace.

    Hovering and talking away,
    But ultimately saying nothing,
    These vexing bugs sting not with venom,
    But with tedious small-talk instead,
    Threatening to take my very sanity
    With babblings of utter banality.

    Now don’t mistake me here,
    I’m not some smug prick
    Who’d compare the rest of humanity
    To a bothersome cloud of flies,
    But I do still savour silence
    Above force-fed fakery to fill it.

    So don’t drone on about the weather,
    Or buzz in my ear incessantly
    About petty things not worth the bother,
    Talk to me of the wider world out there,
    Beyond your narrow antennae,
    And I might just tune you in…

    …Above the noise of the many.

  20. Connie Peters

    What Bug Is This?

    What bug is this, it’s such a pest
    Up my arm is creeping
    On tiny feet, looks for a treat
    I swat it and it’s leaping

    This, this, a nasty flea
    From my dog, a gift to me
    Haste, haste and bring the spray
    Spay rugs, the couch, and pillows

  21. tripoet

    What’s in a Name?

    Is this a lightning bug or a firefly?
    What determines how?
    What determines why?
    Should we note, should we care
    if geography causes
    a difference in the air?
    Fireflies on the west coast,
    lightning bugs on the east
    by any name, a glowing feast.

  22. mapoet

    Periodical Cicadas

    Have you heard the buzz?
    Seventeen years in the making.
    The cicadas were underground
    sipping the sap until they
    got the cue to come out
    and sing for us.

    By Michelle Pond

  23. thunk2much

    oh honey, please bee true
    our buns are sweet because of you
    and spider, vainly on our mirror
    keep eating bugs, we see much clearer

    ah but not you, you fat mosquito
    you just suck, you get the veto
    and although you think you’re super, fly
    get out, get out, be gone, goodbye

  24. Anthony94

    Lady bug lady bug fly away home
    your house is on fire and your children will burn.
    Perhaps a funny rhyme at the time; not now.

    We walked rows of potatoes dropping the
    bright yellow beetles into tuna cans of gasoline,
    thought the right thing to do then; not now.

    We stomped on spiders indoors and out, whacked
    centipedes in the garden with the hoe, caught
    butterflies in nets then pinned them down; not now.

    Now bright lime green and black swallowtail larvae
    decimate the parsley and I celebrate their presence.
    Check the heads of Queen Anne’s Lace to see what

    rides the bloom, last night’s lightning bugs, a hungry
    bee. Now we’ve gone organic and bring in good bugs to
    chase out the bad. Now we’ve finally learned from then.

  25. De Jackson

    Continuing Triolet Play with Walt. 🙂

    Land of Tabernacles, and Tentacles

    The Holy City holds many secrets
    (and maybe a praying mantis or two.)
    Never showing a sign of weakness,
    the Holy City holds many secrets
    and penchant for both strength and meekness.
    (We hope that doesn’t bug you.)
    The Holy City holds many secrets
    (and maybe a praying mantis or two.)

    1. Walter J Wojtanik


      Maybe it takes a praying man, tis true.
      Or someone with faith in himself
      doing the things he knows he should do,
      maybe it takes a praying man, tis true.
      Life will work itself out and yours will too!
      So put all your worries on the shelf.
      Maybe it takes a praying man, tis true.
      Or someone with faith in himself

      1. De Jackson

        Gotta Have Faith

        Someone with faith in himself
        is drawn like a moth to the flame
        to the tenants of wisdom and wealth.
        Someone with faith in himself.
        doesn’t store all his dreams on a shelf
        and he isn’t bothered by rain.
        Someone with faith in himself
        is drawn like a moth to the flame.

        1. Walter J Wojtanik

          LOVE BUGS

          Lovers are drawn like moths to the flame,
          knowing well there’s a chance to get burned.
          Either way they love just the same,
          lovers are drawn like moths to the flame.
          While some see lover as a losing game,
          it’s everything for which romantics have yearned.
          Lovers are drawn like moths to the flame,
          knowing well there’s a chance to get burned.

  26. Walter J Wojtanik



    Adam and the Ants lead the crawl,
    The Beatles really topped them all.
    Iron Butterfly, heavy metal cads,
    Doug and the Slugs weren’t Too Bad.
    The Crickets had Holly smilin’,
    The Mosquitos played on Gilligan’s Island.
    The Cicadas, Yellow Jackets, Killer Bees.
    The Flys got you where they want you.
    And is there enough soul for Gnat King Cole?


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