Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Nether Realms

No thumb-printed squish or slippered swat
will I ill-fit as fate
to the various bugs so very engaged
in vertical creeps, horizontal crawls
and diagonal scurries
from baseboard to ceiling to jamb.

It's not that I'm a coward, cringing
at the prospect of spilled goop
(it does curdle my stomach)
or an insect mahatma
committed to non-violent displacements
(they always find their way back).

This keeping of six-legged fascination
has an even odder bent:
I tolerate roommates of small
and exo-skeletal sort (rent free, of course)
because their nightly prances
enhance my fancy with tallish tales.

On dozing lobe, barbed forelegs unfurl
notes scanned by faceted eyes,
their jagged beaks propping then dropping
sibilant syllables to be carried
on stereo cilia strumming
the tympani of my inner ear.

Their droned odes sing of minute kingdoms,
each clique in turn surveying:
spiral stairways sculpted from red clay;
ornate thrones wood-worked in stump and root;
dangling silk hammocks spun on airy heights,
a reward for stealing flowered kisses.

This entrancing Royal's ransom promised
to me in simple exchange:
I let them traffic through cabinets, walls
and drawers, all the time plotting
how to populate and expand a bit
further their swarming, nether realms.

Francis Scudellari

This poem is written in response to Read Write Prompt #93: Make it a Whopper at Read Write Poem. The challenge was basically to build a tall tale out of a lie or lies.

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