dVerse — Poetics — Foot soldiers of death

TENT-CATERPILLAR-CLOSEUP

I’m a hungry foot soldier,
part of an army of warmongers.
Leaderless
clan wiggle steps
any terrain with trees.
Inches, feet, yards, miles
we march. Our pasty bellies
growl until we find our leafy prey.
Rippling ribbons of black squirm
red stripes say we mean harm
tasting bad our lucky charm
endless search & destroy.
Hair telegraph signals
say a sapling snack
we’re on attack
swarming like
sharks we
chew it to
death. Ah
full tum.
Yum.
o
n
w
a
r
d
I’m a hungry foot solder…

top image link

Lillian and Sarah are today’s hosts for dVerse’ Poetics.  Sarah wants us to write about creepy crawlies from the perspective of the creepy crawlie.  I chose tent caterpillars because they attacked one of my oak saplings this year.  I pulled off as many as I could see/reach with a “grabber” and tossed them into a bucket of water with dish soap.  They seem to have abandoned the oak but then traveled to a young birch that I can reach because of shrubbery.  The tree has no leaves now.  

52 Comments Add yours

  1. lillian says:

    Well tent caterpillars are definitely nasty little buggers! Poor leafless tree. Liked the shape of this — and the picture is quite something!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks, Lillian. I chose that pic because of its expression of grimness. I wonder if the birch will have leaves in spring 😦

      Like

  2. I do not think we have that particular bug, but I have seen caterpillars who eat the leaves of whole forests… no way I could have picked them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      With a forest it’s probably a lost cause. They have planes that can crop dust the forest for gypsy moth caterpillars here, but the government doesn’t do it anymore. Now private property owners get together and contract the planes to do it. One tree was doable to pick off the ones I could reach with the grabber but the birch was beyond my help 😦

      Like

  3. Carol anne says:

    I love this it is wonderful! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Carol anne 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. They don’t look very endearing, and by the sound of them, they’re not!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      As I was picking them off the tree one fell or climbed onto my sock, leaned over the edge of the sock, and bit my leg! No sh*t! Sucker drew blood 😦

      Like

      1. Some critters give the whole lot a bad name…

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Dora says:

    Lisa,
    I think you slid right into the skin of this rapacious foot-soldier.
    pax,
    dora

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Dora, I like the way you put that. Thank you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ron. says:

    Yes perfectly captured the single-taskedness of this soldier. And your structure is also perfect for the subject. Awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Ron.

      Like

    2. fireblossom32 says:

      They are relentless. I love the shape of the poem!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. msjadeli says:

        Shay, thank you. I wish I could have made the shape like a wiggly caterpillar. I may try to do that at some point 🙂

        Like

  7. Gillena Cox says:

    Ah yez caterpillars are hungry hungry creatures

    Much💖love

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Nasty little beasties they are!

      Like

  8. Glenn A. Buttkus says:

    Caterpillars in the trees, slugs and rabbits in the garden One damn thing after another.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I found a huge slug munching on a strawberry the other day. First time ever I pulled it off with bare fingers. Bad idea. That slimy crap doesn’t wash off easily.

      Like

  9. lifelessons says:

    Looks like these little critters are the equivalent of our Leaf Cutter Ants. They, too, can strip a tree in a night or two. They are so fascinating to watch that I hate massacring them, but must act in defense of the greenery.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Judy it takes them a lot longer than a night or two, but the end result is the same.

      Like

  10. calmkate says:

    format fits perfectly and you certainly conveyed a nightmarish depiction … but I think he looks rather cute 🙂 Sorry for your battle!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      If he wasn’t killing my trees I might think so too. I need to do some research to find a safe way to deter them if they are around in the spring.

      Like

      1. calmkate says:

        yes I am sure there is a natural deterrent but the leaves should grow back

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          Good! Me being the on-the-scene reporter, will see. I really hope the caterpillars die over the winter.

          Like

          1. calmkate says:

            yes insects seem to have strange cycles, good luck!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. msjadeli says:

              ❤ Thank you, Kate. I just read yesterday that locusts need just the right conditions to become locusts (I think it was K Hartness' poem.)

              Liked by 1 person

              1. calmkate says:

                oh yes, I was a youngster who loved climbing trees to collect them but they were always set free ..

                Liked by 1 person

  11. sdtp33 says:

    great title and a poem that wriggles and squirms!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Jim.

      Like

  12. memadtwo says:

    I really dislike insects that destroy trees. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  13. K.Hartless says:

    Magical form. You capture this critter with a fresh perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks much, Karen.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Sadje says:

    I love how you’ve shaped your poem Li. Great writing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Sadje 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadje says:

        You’re welcome

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Ingrid says:

    I love the form of your poem and how it marches down the page! What hungry little destroyers they are. I really felt I was marching with them 🐛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Ingrid. Love that emoji.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Truedessa says:

    Looks like a menacing little creature. Enjoyed the shape and flow of your poem. I can see it marching onward.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      When they can chew oak leaves and draw blood with their bites, they are menacing! Thanks for reading and your comment, Truedessa.

      Like

  17. Sunra Rainz says:

    Oh what a lovely life they have! They simply have to eat before they transform. Such an interesting image! It reminds me a knitted woolly sock 🙂 I really enjoyed the rhymes – harm, charm, snack, attack – and the concrete imagery of its crawling curling motion ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Sunra, thank you for reading and your feedback 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sunra Rainz says:

        You’re most welcome 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  18. rothpoetry says:

    A great poem Lisa, Your poem form looks like one of those caterpillers with a fat stomach crawling up the tree! :>) They do make quick work of the trees, but interestingly enough the trees will put out again next year, seemingly without harm.
    Well done. Your worms are gold… our are green!
    Dwight

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you very much, Dwight. Kate said the same thing about the leaves growing back. Relieved bigtime. I’ve seen those hideous green worms, but usually they are tomato worms here.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. rothpoetry says:

        You are welcome. If you look at your trees there should be a new but at each leaf base waiting for the right time to come out.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. robtkistner says:

    This is splendid Lisa, very “moving”, inch by inch… 🙂😉 little thing seems to be frowning… ☹️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I know! That’s why I picked that pic. Workaholic caterpillars are a terrible thing to behold. Thanks for reading and happy you liked the poem, Rob.

      Like

  20. Beverly Crawford says:

    Clever poem, cleverly presented!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks, Beverly!

      Like

  21. writingwhatnots says:

    I can imagine their relentless hungry march. The photo belies their nature. Well captured in your poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks, Marion, yes the one in the image looks almost furry and cute but look at his dour little face!

      Liked by 1 person

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