Because wasps disregard the razors of the prison fence
when they drift indoors, drawn
by the confusion of odours
boredom remorselessly mixes into one—the allure
of a sticky linctus-bottle, say,
or of bacteria fermenting, patient to form a skin—
spuds turning ever so slowly into soldier-crabs—this is a happening,
an event, between the great lapses of concentration.
There is panic, and voices raised, a swarming across the room;
the latest wasp chased down the glass
by nine, ten, no, fifteen men
for whom the fence is obstacle
and (to junkets of cheering) swatted, and swatted, and swatted,
until something is finally satisfied,
beaten to silence, or otherwise put to sleep.

Out of earshot, a voice says: "…because you are the miracle
of engineering sprung beneath your fuselage
of tiger hoops, so sleek, so exquisitely evolved …
we must hate you; because you fizz between
the panes and thump about and dream our spaces your kingdom
we must leave you wrecked
in your entrails—because brindled gold was your birthright
and purpose, a purpose indifferent to us;
because you were too brazen, too beautiful, too perfect."

by Tim Liardet

Comments (3)

this sucks just kiding
Exquisitely vivid and powerfully compelling portrayal of the infinite complexity of even that which we passingly consider simplistic.
Brilliant poem. What a way with words. I'm afraid such poems are very rare on Poemhunter, which has been invaded by the Ninjuns. Thanks.10 from me.