Saturday, April 17, 2010

Beetles, Bugs, & Poem #17...Oh My!

So, it's April.  And April is more than poetry.  In the countrysides of Western New York, April also means Asian lady beetles, or Japanese ladybugs.  Here inside our old farmhouse, we find them everywhere.  Climbing up the living room windows, napping on our toothbrushes, dancing on the edge of the kitchen sink...everywhere!  Because we let most things live here on The Poem Farm, the ladybugs multiply.  We look forward to summer, when we see more bugs outside than inside.

Soon we will be spending more time outdoors, and we will see potato bugs.  If you live in the Western United States or Mexico, you may see this kind.  (A very strange young lady named Katie eats one of these in a YouTube video for which I will not provide a link.)  If you live anywhere else, you may see this kind of potato bug, the kind that looks like a tiny armadillo ball, the kind you can roll around in your hand.

So, why the biology?  In response to Elaine's Great Animal Mask Poem Invitation, I got to wondering what would happen if a potato bug (the pill bug kind) fell in love with a ladybug.  Please do not ask why I wondered this.  I do not know!

I get stuck in the same meter sometimes, and so I'm grateful to my daughter for reciting parts of Mary Ann Hoberman's perfect poem Brother to me the other day.  That poem lodged itself in my head, and while my poem's meter does not match that meter exactly, there are hints.  These hints of new meter took me out of myself.  Thank you, Mary Ann Hoberman, our Children's Poet Laureate, for yet another moment of inspiration.

(Please click on COMMENTS below to share a thought.)


  1. Poor pill bug!

    And about those house-bound lady bugs -- my husband takes them out to the back porch where they delight them every time by taking a few turns around to orient themselves, opening their spotted wing-covers, and zooming off to the south. ALWAYS to the south!!!

  2. Oh, Mary Lee, now we are going to have to try that ourselves! I wonder what they seek in the south?

  3. I liked the end of the this poem, sad though it is.
    And admire your kind feelings to lady bugs. One by one, they are lovely. But all over the windowsills, dropping to the floors, I'm over them. (though try to look up close again: those legs, amazing)

  4. Jeannine - I am smiling over here reading your have crazy-ladybugness too! And I am very excited to have just ordered BORROWED NAMES after reading about it on Poetry Friday. My daughters (who have each read the LITTLE HOUSE series a few times)and I cannot wait to read it.