Hundredfoots

insect macro predator creepy
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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
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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 !

 

 

Royal Wedding

brown black white butterfly on green leaf plant
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Royal Wedding

There, on every table,
As the best man gave his speech,
There was a box, about a hand’s-width each.
With a couple of pretty bows,
And little holes in rows.

The day was cooling off
As the sun was slipping down the sky.
A blackbird sang duets
With the buzzing of a fly,
And the garden’s sweet perfume was in full bloom.

And then the moment came
At the bidding of the bride:
The bows were soon untied
As we gingerly undid the lid,
To find a single butterfly inside.

Large, by British standards,
Their leaded-lights stained orange-red,
And quick enough they roused from bed.
Their wings all beating seagull-slow
As up away they go.

A cloud of monarch butterflies –
A plague, almost, a scarlet host
To start the dance and lead the toast –
A starling-swarm, a bridal crown,
Confetti that went up instead of down.

They soon dispersed into the beds,
A doddle for a bug collector –
Crowding any flowers still in nectar.
A little sugar on the hand,
And maybe we could bring one in to land.

But if, like any wedding guest,
They hoped to meet their future mate,
Or else at least to score a date,
Well, better come on strong:
They’d all be dead before too long.

And as for starting families,
They’d find no milkweed here.
Their kids will starve to death, I fear.
Some metaphor for wedded life:
A pushy groom and barren wife !

There is no Plan A

Animalcules
Animalcules by Antony van Leeuwenhoek

 

There is no Plan A

First there was sunlight and bedrock and ocean,
And acids amino, all churned in a dance;
When somethings were randomly formed in that potion
Of nutrient flow in a soupy expanse.
They hadn’t a thought or a want or a notion,
They hadn’t the know that they’d barely a chance;
They had no creator to watch with devotion,
So where could they go, and just how to advance ?
But networks were working and systems in motion
Which favour and grow and compete and enhance:
And so, life is life – a fluky explosion,
A spawny crescendo to blind happenstance.

 

 

Bleed All About It

closeup photo of black and gray housefly on white surface
Photo by Thierry Fillieul on Pexels.com

 

Bleed All About It

They came at first in ones or twos:
Unseasonal, yet harmless.
And with a swipe of printed news,
I turned those lively flies to flews –
A dextrous-forearm mess.

I turned those bottled-blueboys black,
A stain upon the masthead group;
An asterisk to heavy flack,
An apt critique on pap and hack,
This headline now a scoop.

But long before Id reached the sport,
I heard some buzzing overhead;
And looking up, I must report,
A dozen more of equal sort –
The papers filth had spread !

With tabloid reciprocity
And breaking news of utter trash,
With gutterpress ferocity
I blazed each fresh atrocity
Upon my front-page splash.