Howdy, Poetry Friend

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Welcome to my Poetry Friday Halloween party. Here’s the guest of honor and winner of the costume contest. Anyone know who my little beetle is? I found him on a lilac. He was about the length of my thumb nail. I searched, but I didn’t find him in any identification database. I was enchanted by all the things we was not, so I wrote this poem for him:

Beetle Guess

I have six striped legs
and a beetle I may be,
but I am not a jewel,
a false bombardier,
a golden tortoise
a horse-bean longhorn,
a globemallow leaf,
nor a pleasing fungus.

I may have flirted with
a darkling, teased an
assassin, ridden
a devil’s coach horse,
but I’m not ironclad,
death-feigning, clicked,
blistered, net-winged
or any form of weevil.

If you call me an ox or
a coconut rhinoceros, then
we shall not be friends.

I dreamed I was an
Ashy Gray Lady,
but when I woke,
I was not.

When I come back,
I want to be a whirligig
and dance circles on
sunny lake water.

Or perhaps a
fiery skipper
turning circles in
the wind.

Most of all,
I want to know myself.

Copyright 2017 Brenda Davis Harsham

Notes: My beetle may be none of these things, cool as they are, but then — what is he? He looks closest to a tree borer, so chances are he was helping himself to sap. Does anyone know?

And did you know Massachusetts has a shamrock spider? I didn’t.

An alarming new study found that flying insect populations have declined by three-quarters in twenty-five years! Scary numbers. We need to be better stewards of the earth, or we will find ourselves being the pollinators in the fields.

Poetry Friday with kids

Happy Poetry Friday and Nearly Happy Halloween! If you’ve participated before, you know what to do. If you haven’t, please click the blue box anytime in the next week and add a link to your blog with a post highlighting an original poem, quoting a favorite poem or reviewing poetry. Click here (if the link doesn’t seem to be working, please leave your link in the comments):

 

88 thoughts on “Howdy, Poetry Friend

  1. Howdee!!! So, a wonderful poem inspired by a very interesting little guy! I looked a bit, however, inasmuch as I don’t hate bugs, they do tend to ruin my appetite. Also, I’m a bit bugged out. We found this massive odd caterpillar in the yard this week, and I had to figure that one. Turns out it’s a Pandora Sphynx Moth caterpillar. Ech, not the prettiest thing in the garden.
    Your poem is much, much more lovely! Have a fab Hallow’een! xo

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thanks for hosting! I think your bug is dressed up for Halloween in a tutu and striped tights, and that’s why you can’t get an ID!!

    I love that you wrote about what the bug was NOT. Way to switch the POV!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Well, I’ve looked about the Interwebs, too and I can’t find anything like this one. Too bad! You have a wonderful ode to this bug! She looks like a flamenco dancer to me…and those red eyes… have fun searching! I did.

    Liked by 2 people

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  5. Dear Brenda – thanks so much for hosting today! You shine when writing insects… and I keep thinking you and Buffy need to partner up on a buggy book project! I love that whirligig stanza best of all. Thank you! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh my heavens–this morning I only have time to read your title and for now THAT IS ENOUGH. Beetle Guess I love it I love it I love it! Thanks for hosting–back I hope to comment widely this weekend (at which I failed last weekend).

    Liked by 1 person

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  9. What a gorgeous poem! You sure had fun with that. (And I did too. :P) I hope your friends has some questions answered, soon. As to pollinators… an Aussie children’s author friend, Bren MacDibble had her debut trade children’s book published this year; ‘How to Bee’ – where kids are pollinators. Methinks it will be on some awards shortlists… and who knows – maybe winging its way to America/Canada one day. https://www.allenandunwin.com/browse/books/childrens/childrens-fiction/How-to-Bee-Bren-MacDibble-9781760294335

    I haven’t got a new post up for this week, but because Sally and I had trouble with the link-up last week, I’ll include my link from that post, and if anyone missed it, they’re welcome to pop across and visit. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I don’t know who this little bug is but I know he’s less of a monster than the monsters who have destroyed so many of his kith and kin. As for his wish to discover himself, that is also a lot harder to do if a person’s habitat and family roots are missing. As with people, perhaps it is with insects, too. 😉 Happy Halloween. May all your Halloween Monsters be fun and lovable.

    Liked by 1 person

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  12. I love the voice of this gal/guy! A coconut rhinoceros! How much do I love that s/he thought we might make such an error! I sent the pic to my hubby…he may know. Thank you for hosting with such fun and wit! Happy Poetry Friday! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thanks for hosting Brenda. Enjoyed your poem immensely. It arouses curiosity and causes one to ponder possibilities. The importance of noticing ‘all the small things’ is underlined here too. Your poem is a celebration of the importance of close observation. It invariably results in quite special experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What an odd critter — I like the thought of being a whirligig dancing circles on sunny lake water! Fun, imaginative poem and very cool photo, Brenda. Thanks for hosting this buggy Halloween party!

    Liked by 1 person

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  16. Thanks for hosting a party and a mystery, Brenda. I wish I knew what this was, but it is beautiful and interesting! Love that you wrote about what it is not, and sometimes wish it was, very fun. I love “fiery skipper/turning circles in/the wind.” Is that another kind?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you like my guest of honor. He likes you, too. A fiery skipper is one of the many butterflies that disguises itself as a monarch so nothing will eat them. Monarchs are toxic because they live on milkweed as caterpillars.

      Like

  17. Well, even if we do not know who the beetle is, the beetle sure is a happy one on that lilac leaf. I never heard of so many different varieties. I love your last line: Most of all,
    I want to know myself.
    Now I’m off to google shamrock beetle!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Thanks for hosting, Brenda, but thanks especially for your poem. I adore the thought process and those last lines would speak so much to anyone. We all have identity crises sometimes, don’t we? I also loved that your poem made me tingle with familiarity, because I’ve also written a conversational kind of poem from an unusual first-person. for my post this week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Sally. This poem echoed for me, and I ended up writing a picture book about a search for identity that bears some hallmarks of this poem. Sometimes there’s more room to play in not-knowing. I’ll look forward to seeing yours, too.

      Like

  19. These lines are fun to read aloud and made me laugh, Brenda:
    “I’m not ironclad,
    death-feigning, clicked,
    blistered, net-winged
    or any form of weevil.”

    And the facts about disappearing insects are enough to scare an evil super villain!
    There is hope, there is rebirth. We need to help those insects return, which will take a village. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, April. It was tricky to not make this too list-y or didactic. I’m glad it made you laugh. Some of the names of things raised my eyebrows, and I started to think that using them would be more fun than correctly identifying him. 🙂

      Like

  20. What a fun and lovely poem. The beetle is beautiful and looks friendly. 🙂 I’m horrified to know about the decline in numbers. We just can’t stop committing slow suicide. Seriously…that’s exactly what we are doing for the generations to come. With the thing in the white house it can only get worse. Again. Love the poem.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. What a creative insect he is, coming back as a
    “whirligig
    and dance circles on
    sunny lake water.

    Or perhaps a
    fiery skipper
    turning circles in
    the wind.
    He has a wonderful imagination. To me he looks a bit like an orb weaver, though he would have to have 8 legs, so that rules it out. Hope he finds his identity. That shamrock spiders a bit scary looking. Thanks for the Halloween party and hosting the roundup Brenda, Happy Halloween!

    Liked by 1 person

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