Ladybug Beetles

I wrote this poem quickly for #writeout after the annual Fall Ladybug Beetle Infestation. I can’t help but see this event as connected to a general sense of hubris, that we can control the natural world and make it do what we want.

ladybug beetles

the ladybug beetles arrived today.
hordes of them
tapping on the windows,
squeezing through the cracks
in the front door,
nestling in the clothes
I left on the line this last warm
October day filled with sun.

all night long
farmers harvested soybeans,
frost-killed and dry.
combine lights.
dust. and then
a cloud of beetles.

a cloud of beetles
flew in from the soybeans. this being
just one more small
another sign of hubris.
some genius introduced them
from a far away land
to eat the aphids
that were lowering the
yield of the monoculture-soybeans.
well, they decimated the natives
(this always happens)
so, while

not a climate crisis
or a cancer cluster,
a cloud of beetles arrived today,
another sign of hubris,
and familiar.

— steve peterson

Here is me reading the poem:


Published by

Steve Peterson

I teach fifth grade in Iowa.

One thought on “Ladybug Beetles”

  1. Love how you mix science and poetry. Plus, all the periods and commas seem like the horde come to life in between your words.

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