Magnificent for a Moment

You spent years underground,
a larva, your skin brittle
and papery, vulnerable
you built your cocoon in darkness
as black as your carapace.

I found you that day,
a jet flash in the May sun
basking in the heat
of urban concrete.

I admired your gloss
and spectacular size,
a stag among beetles
ready to lock antler-like jaws
in a bristling wrestle for a mate.

It was late for a child of eight;
but I still got a glimpse
of chestnut wings as they spread
and you flew into the London sunset.

Kim M. Russell, 26th May 2018


My poem for Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Weekend Mini Challenge: Insects and Bugs Also linked to Poets United Poetry Pantry

This weekend I’m hosting the Weekend Mini Challenge and we’re writing about insects and bugs, which I find fascinating and exquisitely beautiful. My poem is based on a childhood discovery in our ground floor balcony on a South London estate.


53 thoughts on “Magnificent for a Moment

  1. A lovely little ditty, Kim. I like the picture also, I didn’t know the beetles fought each other. The crowd is at the bottom licking their wounds. I don’t remember a bug of any type bothering us in London. We probably spent eight months, could be more, there visiting our daughter and her family.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow – these beetles, the stag beetles, actually look very unearthly – almost like cyborgs!
    Anyhow, this is curious prompt (lots of fun and inspiration to be found and discovered – thanks for hosting btw.) – and I really like how you’ve captured that sudden “flash in the eye” wonder of the discovery – and translated the curiosity …. the use of the word “jet” is so apropos – not only for the colour, but they have that from weirdness which makes one wonder, these came from here? the disbelief …. and it speaks of heaven and earth.

    fun and fascinating poem Kim 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the childlike amazement in this. Stag beetles are truly amazing in their might and ferocity. Not like cyborgs but the things upon which aliens and cyborgs were created. And yet, that flash of chestnut wings…I love that. A wondrous magical image.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. kaykuala

    of chestnut wings as they spread
    and you flew into the London sunset

    Thus begin a journey in the mysteries of the insect world! Great word-craft Kim!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mary! We get them mostly in the south-east of the UK. I used to see them a lot where I grew up in South London and they can be found here in East Anglia.


  5. Youngsters are almost always more fascinated. These days, more than half a century later, they’re mostly just background for me…sometimes merely an annoyance. Ah, well; you did a GREAT job of reminding me. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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