Four Thousand Million Years in the Making

boom
image by Shattered Horizon

 

Four Thousand Million Years in the Making

Unbeknownst to exis’tence,
Who lived in bodies, firm and dense,
There looked upon with apprehence
An unknown entity.
Beings of a diff’rent class,
Not formed of solid, liquid, gas:
For not one atom had they mass,
But weightless energy.

When they looked upon the Earth
In hill and cave and brook and firth,
They found the rocks had given birth
To life most tangible.
Life alive as mould and trees,
And slugs and crabs and honeybees,
And frogs and crows and chimpanzees,
With tooth and mandible.

“This is outright blasphemy !”
They screamed in thought-like energy
“For never life can ever be
Built with a hard physique.
And they live at such extremes
In ocean depths and fissure seams
And in another’s fluid streams.
With mutant-gained technique.”

Terrified by solid life
They blew apart this world-midwife,
For only there could such be rife,
And now it was destroyed.
Rock and lava shattered thence
And sped across the void immense,
Without a single thought or sense:
A thousand asteroids.

Thus were ended carbon forms
In fumigating magma storms,
Biomass now dusty swarms;
Extinction voracious.
But all this life is hard to kill,
And even in the deathly chill
Of outer space, it’s clinging still:
Patient and tenacious

As the debris drifts afar,
So come the tugging of some star
Upon this frozen reservoir,
And bring about a thaw.
Let them countless orbits make,
And with an endless time to take;
One bacterium shall wake,
And life resume once more.

Poisonhead

black spider
Photo by Anthony on Pexels.com

 

Poisonhead

I cannot tell you why I should be so afraid,
Except I am.
Perhaps it’s evolution keeping me alive
That makes me scram.
But I have always hated spiders, big and small –
Oh god, so small !
They’re lurking in this room, right now –
They lurk, until they crawl…

But sooner yet than later,
Then the peace between us must be made –
For I don’t want to be a hater,
When, oh please !, I hate to be afraid…

And with tarantulas – so big !- we get to see
Just how they’re built –
Their legs, their palps, their spinnerets,
Their onyx eyes and downy quilt…
Yet small ones have these too, too small to see –
But oh, they’ve got the lot,
Upon a strange and creeping body –
Never let this be forgot !

But I am more than this, and greater –
I shall love them, I shall not be swayed.
For I don’t want to be a hater,
I don’t want to spend my life afraid.

 

 

One Spot, Two Spot

ladybird on finger
Early Ladybird by Gavin Clack

 

One Spot, Two Spot

Ladybird, Madam Ladybird, so good of you to call
Will you stay here a little, pack your wings up to crawl ?
Ladybird, Madam Ladybird, have you flown a long way ?
Do you come, Miss, for feasting, or have you eggs to lay ?
Ladybird, Madam Ladybird, your wing-case is ajar;
Won’t you stay a little longer, ere your au revoir ?
Ladybird, Madam Ladybird, how longer is your reign ?
Shall I meet you on the morrow, or never now again ?

 

 

Hundredfoots

insect macro predator creepy
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

Hundredfoots

Centipedes, ah centipedes, with more legs than blood veins,
Not like the millipedes – they’re rounder, you’re flatter.
Among the weeds are centipedes: articulated trains –
So how can you walk without causing a clatter ?
You gain two more segments each time that you shed:
That’s four legs per moulting, with more moults ahead.
So I don’t know, centipedes, quite how you succeed
When the insects can make do with six feet per tread.
Is it to lengthen your gut, or to strengthen
Your grasp on the earth, causing limbs to accrue ?
And if so, you sly lot, I’m wondering why not
Have billipedes, or trillipedes, or squillipedes too ?
Nat’ral selection, of course, has you firm in her grip:
It’s legs verses food, and at some point your fortunes must slip –
Though how many legs does it take for the balance to tip ?

Centipedes, ah plentipedes, with more legs than brains,
Though more brains than millipedes, if far fewer pins:
Bullet-headed batter-rams who plough through remains,
They’re moving slow by gearing low, to help sync their shins.
Silly slow millipedes, high in torque and low in speed –
Faster though than rotting leaves, upon which they feed.
You race them and beat them, you chase them and eat them –
But how many, Centipede, of legs do you ready need ?
Perhaps it’s your body that’s less planned than shoddy,
And just goes on growing till one day you pop.
You keep budding segments and each comes with legments,
All far too far back-there behind you to stop.
Centipedes, ah centipedes, you’re runners and dancers,
You’re bolted together, you’re slaloming chancers:
So rich in appendages, always – but so poor in answers.

 

 

Arachnophilia

nature insect macro spider
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

Arachnophilia

Little Miss Schneiders has always loved spiders:
From miniscule monies to long-leggèd striders,
From purse-webs to orb-webs, to nursery sheet-webs,
From cobbled-up cobwebs to fussily-neat webs.
With eight legs and eight eyes (unless they have six eyes)
And just the right size to pose no sort of threat.
She loves all the spiders, does Little Miss Schneiders,
And thinks that tarantulas make a fine pet –
Who needs a red setter when eight legs are better ?
(Her parent won’t let her, but she’s hopeful yet.)

Little Miss Schneiders is smitten with spiders,
From burrowing wolves to ballooners and gliders.
But best of all, surely, is knowing how Britain’s
Are pussies – as cute and as gentle as kittens.
Imagine Australia !  What lurks inside her ?
There’s trapdoor and funnelweb, huntsman and redback !
But not for Miss Schneiders, who’s safe to love spiders –
For all of her widows are false, and not black.

Ev’ry September sees Little Miss Schneiders
Go searching the skirting and combing the coving –
For this is the season when spiders go roving,
The scent-spinning ladies and amorous lads,
All looking to hook-up as mammas and dads.
From bath-tub and cellar to guinea-pig hutch,
And under the pelmets there’s eggs by the clutch.
They dance on the walls and they sprint ’cross the rugs
For eight gorgeous eyes and for eight-leggèd hugs.

Little Miss Schneiders has always loved spiders –
They’re bigger than beetles and faster than slugs !

 

 

Kosher Insecta

fried beetles

 

Kosher Insecta

“…all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you.”
                                                                                                            Leviticus, chapter 11, verse 23

Chow down on the damselflies,
Munch upon their crop –
Bite upon their compound eyes
Until you feel them pop.
Scoff on moths and feast on ’wigs,
Or ’skaters, ’skeeters, whirligigs;
Aphids served up by the dish
With ladybirds and silverfish.

Count the legs to know the score.
If six apiece, our bugs are pure.

Chomp upon the wasp when ripe
And pluck each silky wing,
Chew upon its barley-stripe
And suck its juicy sting.
Scarabs sate the palate well,
Just don’t forget to crack the shell;
Maggots taste so sweet and young,
When slowly melting on the tongue.

Count each foot and thigh and shin –
When legs are six, we never sin.

But locusts and crickets
All look like they’ve rickets
With bandy gert hindlegs for springing around.
And mantids, you’re saying
Have forelimbs for praying.
But all use all six when they creep on the ground.
And fleas, if you please, walk the hexa-gait too –
(At least, in the circus they do.)

So count each leg, each gnat and bee:
For six is fit anatomy !

*****

But feast not on the mutants,
The foul four-leggèd mutants !
Such creeping fowls thou shalt not eat,
With legs above their feet.

Beware the peacock butterfly !
I beg you, chase them from your homes –
Don’t let these devils flutter by,
With four-leg legs and foreleg combs.

Then feast not on the mutants,
These foul four-leggèd mutants !
Count the limbs in which they’re clad:
Six legs good, four legs bad.

And I heard of some bats in New Zealand
Who go on all fours on the floor
Their wings get tucked up, and each free hand
Is def’nit’ly walked on, for sure !

So shout it out to congregations:
None shall taste abominations !
Heresies thou shalt not eat
With legs above their feet

So gather, gather for the feast
Of insects, great and small.
They’re pure and kosher, ev’ry beast:
Six-leggèd, one and all !