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Poems

Mealybug Nymphs, Gossamer

5 September 2015

9:00 AM

5 September 2015

9:00 AM

after Robert Hooke, Micrographia (1665)

 

A warm wall, heavy leaves, hard green grapes
    and a cluster of berries
        spun out of cobweb.
 
They were packed with brown roe, or, later,
    an anarchy of hatchlings,
        scattering crawlers
 
scarce larger than the eggs they once were,
    two eye-dots on a body
        the shape of an egg.
 
I counted nine scales at the rear end,
    two whiskers, a two-pronged tail
        six legs underneath.
 
Though I shut some in a box, thinking
    they might become something else,
        they grew but little,
 
leaving me with these wisps of knowledge,
    like the filaments that fall
        sometimes from the air,
 
which may be the shed fibres of clouds
    or thrums of unfinished web.
        I cannot join them.


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