Inside the garden pot the ants

had been busy behind plastic

confined in their imprinted circuitry

patterns of labour, tunnels of itch

now suddenly disturbed by my wrenching

of the Christmas tree,


enough years serving its purpose

of annual celebration,

dressed with solar bulbs and red leaves,

lately abandoned

starved of nutrition but stubbornly surviving. 


I stripped it of sideshoots

to a perfunctory phallus

as sullen as a forced salute and as stiff. 


Air and light revealed the ants

their frantic comings and goings,

discarded gossamer wings lifted

carapaces rolled by spiny legs. 

In two hours time they would be gone

as it they had never existed. 




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Sat 8th May 2021 12:37

Many thanks for liking this Stephen, Stephen and Tony.

Glad you found favour S G. It was quite a surprise!

Graham, you've hit the nail on the head - I did feel regret. Sometimes it's a mood thing. Amateurism in any field often leads to emotions running away, as opposed to the wise specialist. We invest what we feel into our lives and then often punish ourselves. A thousand ants can't be wrong.

Hope you're well. Ray

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Graham Sherwood

Tue 4th May 2021 16:16

Garden/horticultural destruction always seems both sad and invigorating, in that most of it can be recycled. If I had a quid for every time I've said 'it's the cycle of life' to my wife whilst uprooting stuff or chopping shrubs back, I'd be a millionaire.

Christmas trees take on a different perspective (I have to admit we have had an artificial one for decades now) as they are elevated to deific levels once a year and are then forgotten for most of it.

I think I can feel your regret here Ray. It's just the cycle of life remember.

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Stephen Gospage

Tue 4th May 2021 16:04

Some wonderful (not to say alarming!) images, Ray.

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