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And Then Some (More)


Praying Mantis

I saw one once
when I was a child
on top of a retaining wall
outside our country house
one summer day

It would have been easy to catch, I thought
but I didn't try to catch it

I just looked at it
a long while
a little frightened of it
and then called my father over

He told me what it was
the wondrous name
and told me never to harm one
because it was good luck
a sign of good fortune

It looked like a blade of grass

Was it, I wonder
a prayer of thanksgiving?
or of petition?
on that long ago summer day?



The cat sat on a mat.
A rat shat on the mat.
The scat begat a gnat.
The gnat bit at the rat.
The rat bit at the cat.
The cat bit at the rat.
That was that.

The snake spake at the wake.
A bird too offered a word.
A hare was there on a dare.
The fox swore a pox on the box.
A deer shed a tear out of fear.
The bees' knees bent in the breeze.
Geez Louise!



Was ever there a poem
written or recited
in say the last five thousand years or so
on or to
the cricket or the moth?

Am I wrong
or has the light vanished and the song?

Oh for those long lost nights outside on the porch
in the childhood of the world
and wonder of it all!



For simple beauty of line and resonance of soul,

the pure pitch and perfection of silence on the whole,

if not simply for sheer metaphysical delight,

nothing equals the song of crickets in the night.




The moth is but a little thing
of no account to man

it doesn't pull or lift or purr
or bark or dance or sing

And yet of all the things in life
of no account to Man

it doesn't bite
it doesn't sting
it seeks the light
in everything
it does the best it can


To the Humble Bee

When I was a child I was afraid of bees.
I feared a bee sting the way I feared the doctor's needle.
And I was even more afraid of wasps!
The mere sight of a wasp hanging about in the air nearby
chilled me to the quick.

And yet I have never in my life been stung by bee or wasp.
Meanwhile mosquitoes bit me all to hell.
Especially while I was asleep at night.

When I learned that bees die after stinging
I felt a certain sympathy for them.
I thought of them differently after that.
Gradually I lost my fear of them entirely.


Tesla and the Cockchafer

the desacralization of the world

proceeds apace

time to give the sacrilege a face

oh well

the bugs will inherit the earth in any case



Lightning Bugs

We caught them out on the front lawns

of a summer night

bounding down from the porch like yearling fawns

caught them in dreamy dilatory flight

closing cupped hands around the light

caught them out of the air

for all the fun of the fair

a band of chthonic sprites

discovering the rites of cosmic wonder

laughing with joy

girl and boy

and then falling into silent amaze

as in inward gaze

we waited for the thunder


Please see other poems in this volume, here:

The name derives from the Greek word meaning "prophet" or "seer."
And for the folded forelimbs of the creature's prayer-like posture.
"Far Out!"
—The East Village Other
"An American Aesop"
New York Journal-American
"I've always been fond of moths. As far back as I can remember.
This fondness can't be explained, and shouldn't be explained.
But I do remember enjoying the smell of moth balls in my grandmother's bureau.
My God! I've just made another poem! I can't seem to help it!"

—Angel Trismegistus
While walking at the Premium Outlets here in Vacaville, I would sometimes see a praying mantis on the wide sidewalk, several feet from any vegetation and no other bugs in site. I wondered what it was doing there.
RobertU;bt4963 said:
While walking at the Premium Outlets here in Vacaville, I would sometimes see a praying mantis on the wide sidewalk, several feet from any vegetation and no other bugs in site. I wondered what it was doing there.
Yes, the one I saw was on a wall, alongside grass, but not in the grass where its camouflage would have made it impossible to spot of course, but where it might hope to be preying. Just "praying" perhaps. ;)
"lirica e romantica"
Il Progresso Italo-Americano

[Editor's Note: "lyrical and romantic"]
Dear fellow members,
If your favorite insect is not represented in the poems posted in this volume, please post a comment in which you identify said insect and I'll try to include it.
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