A Bug’s Life

The following collection of short, insect-themed poems is Sebastian Baker’s “way of trying to dramatize the lives of creatures that we typically think of as insignificant.” He bestows tone, personality, and sensational stories upon everything from a firefly to a roach through vivid scenes that turn their quiet existence into something thrilling and extraordinary. The alliteration and careful diction used to craft these poems made them wonderful pieces to perform out loud at our last creative writing forum. Read the compilation below.

scarab

F. Sebastian Baker

 

Caterpillar
I see them sip sweet nectar
And crunch crispy greens.
With envious venom in my gut
I chew my bitter brew
Though I hate the taste.
I know I’m slow and soft and fat
We all are easy treats
Tasty targets.
But when the hunter hungers
My pestilence protects me.
I’ll imbibe my bitter bile
To survive when others die.
One day I’ll sleep on silken sheets
Inside a coffin, a cocoon
Broken down, dissolved, digested
To be reborn anew.
And all shall call me Monarch.

Bee
We fly for our family.
Older sister makes a map
Follow her footsteps to the field.
I am gardener and harvester.
Bringing back no less than life
Sustenance for younger sisters
The future of our family.
I come back to a battlefield
Our queen’s castle
Besieged by a beast, a brutal black behemoth.
Dodge swatting claws and crushing jaws
I’ll stake my life on a single strike.
Remember me, mother
I died for our family.

Mantis
I stand still and silent
Praying to my prey
Dainty dancer with painted wings.
You don’t see me in my sleek green
Or frilly pink petals
Too pretty to pose a threat.
Until my claws catch you
Grasp and drag you
Into my bladed embrace.
A kiss will kill you
I’ll eat your heart
And throw away your wings.
Love, feast and funeral
Finished with a prayer.
Amen.

Firefly
You were right there.
I saw you, I swear.
Before your light blinked out.
A flash! A flare!
Is it you again?
No, it’s another, not of my type
Fire of love already fading.
They say when two star-lights align
It will lead their hearts together
But it seems I shine mine in vain.
Do you even see me?
I’m here, wandering in the dark
Wishing with a lonely hope
That I could crack the code
And calculate the location of love.

Dragonfly
My gown is wings swifter than wind
My crown is eyes on every side.
Perched on the edge of my narrow throne
I scan the sky and sea hungrily.
There!
Faster than thought
I spot my prey and pounce.
From small spiraling specks of black
To scaly leviathans twice my size
I’ll strike them all down to save my life.
I am dragon and damsel
Princess of predators
And prisoner to hunger.
I am the hunter.

Roach
BOOM!
A blinding blaze of blighted light!
The poisonous power of an artificial star
Lays waste to all you made.
Walls crumbling, buildings falling
Skitter and scurry for shelter.
Under the rubble of a dead world
I’ll make my home in the bleached bones
Of a giant, no, a god
Too great for their own good.
The sweetness and softness is gone.
Only the strongest shells survive.
But in the heart under my armor
I know green grass will grow again
And I swear I’ll live to see it.

Stag Beetle
Who will win this day?
I can’t hear beyond this roar
Of the crowd in my head.
I can’t see beyond this arena
It isn’t big enough for both of us.
We may be brothers by blood
But I’ll beat you down and drive you out
To make this place mine.
I see in your face you feel the same.
Hercules, hold your sword up to the sky!
I know full well your shell is stronger than mine.
And if defeat is my fate, so be it.
But I have hope in these hands
That grasp and catch and claw
Tooth and nail
For all I hold dear.
So may the best warrior win!
Open the gates to the gladiators!
Bring it on, brother!

Scarab
Once upon a time I rolled the sun across the sky.
Bringer of light, giver of life
I was divine.
Dressed in radiant rainbow hues
Both beautiful and powerful
Cutting a figure fit for royalty.
Now I am forgotten, downtrodden.
How far I have fallen
To digging in dirt
Scrabbling in sand
For refuse and waste.
What others throw away
I scrape together and save.
I roll this boulder to a hole in the ground
My home now.
But you are here
And our future is here
These little ones live off our labor.
Here they are safe, here they will stay
Until they are strong enough to go their own way
And as I watch them grow, deep down I know
I’d rather bear this dirty burden
Than a thousand sacred suns.

Image source: http://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/u/ss/fQYSUbVfts-T7pS2VP2wnKyN8wxywmXtY0-FwsgxpCAbPjOTsH4mLBMHZN6TuoTiFqC2ljNCqS4Bk02iU9jZ/

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