A Bug’s Life by Denis Robillard

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February 1, 2016 by northerncardinalreview

‘Small gnats mourn in a wailful choir.”    Keats

There is a wasp cemetery on the patio rug,
lined up with 15 tiny insect torsos row on row
like a burned out fuselage
or WW2 flyer,
they lie on their backs in deep hypnotic sleep.

A  simple well timed thwap merits another
bloody bug scalp now.

 Overhead fuzzy faced comrades
zigzag dance in mourning–
 cursive swaggers crazy eighting the air
hovering above
these discombobulated corpses like Blackhawks.
The glowing antennae of nature’s dark machinery.

On the ground offensive, ants are tracking
the artificial green terrain of the deck
 marching towards
these fresh shrivelled torsos, ready for cannibalism.
Others lie nearby, filaments disgorged,
organic codes crushed.
This is their finality away from the hive.

A few minutes later in the garden,
 I kill one of those creepy crawly Burroughs bugs,
An ambulatory hirsute scar going blind
with  light scurrying in herringboned punctuations.

It makes me question its dark existence–
a hairy zipper with a hundred legs
and a million eyes, a billion bug thoughts.

My stepdaughter later catches a preying mantis
On the garbage lid, the boys gather around
Their curiosity piqued by the plastic water pail inverted.

Attracted to the outline of its furtive movements
This primitive alien creature prescient and clean
Telegraphs its micro-moves along the pavement
while something bigger than it all
sits and watches in awe.

Denis Robillard was born in Northern Ontario and now teaches high school in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. For the past 15 years hundreds of his poems have appeared in the small presses and on line magazines across Canada, The USA, England and Scotland. Some of those include: Rattle, Rampike, Word Riot, Nashwaak Review, Algoma Ink, Cliff Soundings (Michigan). In 2011 Robillard was published in Windsor Review, Bolts of Silk and Ottawa Arts Review. He is an avid photographer and traveler.


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