Day 10 – not the sort of guests you want sharing your picnic blanket

Another topic crossed off the list. Third of the way through, really feel like I’m smashing this NaPoWriMo. (Car crash to follow soon…)

After seeing 100’s of these little critters over the farm all summer, I’ve finally been able to give them a poetic shout out.


6 short poems about Myrmecia forficata 
(inch ants)

1. The Scientific
100, 000, 000 years
of evolutionary simplicity
single chromosome pair
lowest count of any creature
cousin to bees & wasps
— endemic to Australia

2. The Philosophic
furious will to live
— as proven by sadistic
philosophers who cut
them in two in order
to activate individual
head v tail fight clubs

3. The Metaphoric
with its blown glass abdomen
it’s a brown bloodred pin
on steroids ; a segmented
chitin tank ; shiny obsidian
suit of armour ; a spinning
exoskeleton compass — complete
with scissors & a ringmaster’s moustache

4. The Literal
technically should
be called 25.4mm ants
owing to our metrication
— but it doesn’t have
the same zing to it

5. The Unusual
their well-developed vision
means they can follow
intruders from a metre off
— try hiking in the bush
knowing inch ants
could be stalking you

6. The Personal
pincers pinch the skin
worse than when
your sister caught
a piece of your cheek
between her strong nails
during a childhood brawl

it was long ago that fight
& though you’ve forgotten
what it was about
you can still feel
that slapsting as sharp
as yesterday

— the inch ant bite
is worse than that



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