Lucretius And The Anteater* - Poem by Diane Hine
A pleasant spot for lunch; pequi fruit
under a yellow flowered trumpet tree.
Who's that I hear scrabbling in the undergrowth?
Ah ha! Welcome to my picnic Anteater.
No? You prefer to cater for yourself?
I agree, that ant nest does look appetizing.
It's a pleasure to watch an expert at work.
A vigorous assault and rapid gorging
before their bites become too excruciating.
It's always lunch on the run for you!
Did you know that we're much alike, you and I?
No, not just the long Roman nose.
The ants often take exception to my work too,
(digging for ancient broken pottery) .
Yes, it does seem a strange way to spend a life.
Not for everyone - not for Edelweiss for instance.
I wonder how long she'll stay? She's right -
the message in the bottle -
just an idle moment several years ago.
I'd completely forgotten of course.
I don't know if the Captain will live. He's lucky
a friendly tribe found him and brought him to us.
I suspect he was deliberately misled;
pointed in the direction of almost certain death
by the same devious tribe I think have Hope.
I see you flinching now Anteater; those bites
are getting through your thick coat at last.
I've lived here twenty-six years with the ants
and the parasites;
Tissue dissolving bacteria,
Eye-lickers, maggots, malaria,
I'm the bugs' best cafeteria!
Ha! See, I'm capable of poetry too;
‘Boy stood on the burning deck' sort of thing.
Here's one you'll appreciate my friend!
The boy stood on the burning deck
The crew all laughed in mockery
Fire ants swarmed around his neck
He'd stayed to save the crockery!
Ha ha ha!
Ha ha ha ha!
Poet's Notes about The Poem
Edelweiss Petty and Hope make a Seaside Discovery
Captain Bryce in Tasmania
A Letter to England
Edelweiss finds L. In the Amazon
Hope (a rondeau)
Sestina: Captain Bryce in the Amazon
Lucretius and the Anteater
Hope and Edelweiss
Comments about Lucretius And The Anteater* by Diane Hine
Read this poem in other languages
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