Friday, April 11, 2008


Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect gave us the photo below for the Monday Poetry Stretch.

This photograph was taken by lijojohnson and is protected under a Creative Commons license. You may include this photo with your poem as long as you include this attribution on your blog.

When I saw this picture, the first thing I thought of was this:
I want it to be a soft green, not as blue-green as a robin's egg, but not as yellow-green as daffodil buds. Now, the only sample I could get is a little too yellow, but don't let whoever does it go to the other extreme and get it too blue. It should just be a sort of grayish-yellow-green. … Is that clear?

-- from Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948)
And then I got down to the business of poetry-writing.


Flashy, aren't you, in your high-end armor?
All safe and secure inside, padded and protected,
with articulated joints to cover the soft parts
and even multi-lens goggles to help you see better.

I'm glad you are safe, with this strategic advantage
over your enemies and their outmoded gear.
I've seen them in their basic black and basic brown.
No shine left in them and no way to upgrade.

While you are buzzing away out there,
safe inside your green-gold armor,
watch out for everything. You never know
who is watching you watch them.

Don't forget you stand out now, shiny
against the leaf, no longer invisible
on the wall, in clear sight on that fruit.
A perfect target for a heretofore unimagined foe.


Tricia said...

I just love this one. It has such great language. I'm glad this picture inspired you!

Rae Trigg said...

Very nice imagery. I really like your comparison of this beetle's armor with those "in their basic black and basic brown".

sister AE said...

Thanks, Tricia. The picture tickled the back of my mind all week, but the poem didn't come out until today and it kind of surprised me.

Hello, Rae Tigg. Thanks.

Maria said...

I'm smiling because I kept thinking that if cockroaches looked like this, we wouldn't mind them so much.

It is all in the packaging, isn't it? We all want to be the lady bugs, the butterflies, the fat little honey bees. Instead, most of us are ants, stinkbugs and locusts.

sister AE said...

Hi, Maria. Glad this gave you a smile. You know you never hear about the groups protesting to have the experimental fruit-flies released from captivity.

Clare said...

Hi Sister AE! I really love the voice in this -- how you talk to the green-gold bug. And the contrast of being protected with armor vs. being a target for foes is really powerful.

sister AE said...

Thanks, Clare. I'm enjoying what other people hear in this piece.

Katya said...

that's totally awesome. oh...i'm from michele's site!

sister AE said...

Thanks, Katya. I'm glad you stopped by.