Bug


Dreadful headlines buffet the breath from my body. I recoil from their continued assault, only to be knocked over like bug on its back. The natural comfort of my carapace becomes a trap. I flail, finding no purchase in the air I flew freely through not so long ago. News marches on. I feel the whoosh as its passing feet come close to crushing me in this vulnerable position. A well timed gust of wind combined with the wriggle of my legs helps me rediscover my center. I go to my place of safety, and remember though I am small, I am also not alone. There are far more of me, buzzing, whirring and clicking in every city and town. And together we are a swarm that outnumbers them all.




Uncaring footfalls
promise my annihilation
unless I stand up.
Fear threatens to entomb me
but anger keeps me fighting.



This poem was created for the prompt given at Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads: 13 is Poetry. It is also linked to Poets United, Poetry Pantry 399. I used the following 13 words from the original quote: 

dreadful
annihilation
breath
the
comfort
natural
their
a
on
continue
anger
to
rediscover

The quote given:

“People disappear when they die. Their voice, their laughter, the warmth of their breath. Their flesh. Eventually their bones. All living memory of them ceases. This is both dreadful and natural. Yet for some there is an exception to this annihilation. For in the books they write they continue to exist. We can rediscover them. Their humor, their tone of voice, their moods. Through the written word they can anger you or make you happy. They can comfort you. They can perplex you. They can alter you. All this, even though they are dead. Like flies in amber, like corpses frozen in the ice, that which according to the laws of nature should pass away is, by the miracle of ink on paper, preserved. It is a kind of magic.” ~ Diane Setterfield

56 comments:

  1. Such an imaginative take on the writing challenge

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  2. Wow, powerful metaphor and powerful sentiments.

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    1. I did try. I'm not always the greatest with this kind of challenge, but I did all right. I should probably try more like these to help me grow as a poet.

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  3. Yowza!💞 This is unbelievably potent, Rommy!💞

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  4. My inner prompt goddess--yes, I have one of those--wants to bang on her chest, while howling, "I prompted this! Hear me roar." Goodness, Rommy, that ending. What it says about anger wears my heart as its face. Too many people see rage as something crippling (and it can be). But if we take that seemingly ever-destructive fire and re-purpose it, we can birth wonders out of the energy... we can even feed our cool.

    Yum, yum... RAWR!

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad I was able to convey the things I wanted to within the scope of the challenge.

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  5. Your words sing like an anthem! Let’s swarm!

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  6. Wow, I am SO impressed. Such strong sentiments so powerfully expressed :-)

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  7. though I am small, I am also not alone.

    Once we realize this, nothing is impossible!

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  8. I can relate to these words, these fears, these feelings and the metaphoric language enriches the entire reading experience.

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  9. Luv your wind and the way you come back fighting with the anger .great clash of metaphor titans

    Much🌼love

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  10. An impressive response to the prompt. Wow!

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    1. Glad I exceeded expectations. :)

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  11. I love the direction this poem took. It was as forceful as a marching band.

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    1. Woot! Though 76 Insects doesn't quite have the same ring to it as 76 Trombones

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  12. though I am small, I am also not alone...oh my yes! Throwing back my head and howling....

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  13. This is really a very artful use of metaphor, Rommy, and you don't just fling it out there but flesh it out word by word and bring it to fruition, from the rock of the carapace to the vulnerability to crushing, to the buzz of our numbers when we finally come together en masse--o yes, locusts can devour an entire country, or at least the parts that need to be eaten away, in this case...

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    1. Insects do excel at dealing with decay so that there's room for better things to grow.

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  14. Such vivid imagery... this was exceptional, Rommy

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  15. A well-crafted haibun, Rommy. I love the alliteration in 'buffet the breath from my body' to convey the shock of the headlines, and the nod to Kafka in 'the natural comfort of my carapace becomes a trap'. 'News marches on' brings us back to reality. The ending is quite horrific: 'There are far more of me, buzzing, whirring and clicking in every city and town. And together we are a swarm that outnumbers them all'.The final lines of the tanka give voice to what most of us think.

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    1. I definitely wanted to get that Kafka-esque feel to it, and yes turn the tables on the idea of helplessness. I'm glad that bit of horror came through.

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  16. This reminded me of my childhood and enjoing having a bug on my hand to check me out and probably sucking up the sweat and thinking that it wasn't a bad place for a short break before opening its wings shell (elytra) and flying off again. Loved it!

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    1. I liked trying to get lightning bugs to land on me in the summertime

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    1. Thanks Gillena. Hope your Sunday was good.

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  18. Sometimes anger is very useful. We have to use it to our advantage in some situations!

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  19. I like to think we're a rising swarm of reason that will restore sanity to our leadership! Well written.

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    1. I'd definitely like to think that too

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  20. wonderful poem... lots of images pop into my mind when I read this

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  21. Love, love, love this....and how I have felt.....no longer willing to be squashed like a bug....there are far more of us to fight.

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  22. What a wonderful rallying cry. I am one of those bugs too, part of the swarm.
    Love this poem!

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  23. A fascinating post. You rose to the challenge, I think, brilliantly. The tanka, in particularly, gives pause ... stunning.

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    1. I always get a little nervous with this kind of challenge, because I want to use the words I'm given well. I'm glad I was able to create a solid piece from it.

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  24. Together we are a swarm... love that hopefulness in times like ours!

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    1. Hope is what keeps people going :)

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  25. I enjoyed reading. That's right get up and get angry!!

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