Stock

By noon, the crickets are back to normal speed, but the honey in the jar retains its new-found stiffness. The cicada chorus swells & dwindles, a metallic surf, & the field hums with bees wallowing through goldenrod. On this coolest of summers, my house has been painted a blinding white, like the bed of a lake that vanished into the clouds, leaving only its salt. I look down: a carrion beetle scuttles over the portico bricks right up to my front door & goes all along the bottom looking for an entrance. Maybe it’s lost, I say to myself. You can’t put too much stock in insects.

16 Comments


  1. :-) You remind me of Huck Finn, who was all of a sweat to find out about Moses and the Bullrushers, before he found out they was dead. He don’t put no stock in dead people.

    Reply

    1. Now there’s a book I must re-read, now that I am (allegedly) an adult. What was it Twain said about youth being wasted on the young?

      Reply

  2. Makes me smile. As does knowing Dale’s here at the same time as me, his comment only just appeared! (I like it when that happens.)

    Reply

    1. Hmm. Maybe I should get one of those sidebar widgets that tells you who’s on the site — might make it more homey. If only I weren’t allergic to blog clutter…

      It occurs to me that since you’re in France and Dale’s in Oregon, you might’ve been reading at the same time, but it was Wednesday night for him and Thursday morning for you.

      Reply

  3. I’d say you can’t put enough stock in insects. Don’t worry though; if he thought you looked sickly, he wouldn’t go in your house and wait for you. He’d crawl underneath you.

    This time of year, the vultures circle our house all day. I suppose it has something to do with air currents, but I make a point of moving around more when I see them, lest they get any ideas….

    Reply

    1. Yes, we get circling vultures here, too. They’re just after our thermals, though.

      Actually, my main concern with the carrion beetle is that he smells something in the crawlspace under the floor. Impossible to get up in there and remove it. Something — I think a porcupine — died under there in early spring and the room stank for three or four weeks.

      Reply

  4. the beetle might be addled from all that white paint. some good writing, Dave. hope all is well. have a great day.

    Reply

    1. Thanks, Michelle. I don’t know what it takes to dazzle a carrion beetle, but since they are normally found out of the light underneath a dead animal, I imagine they might dazzle easily.

      Reply

  5. really liked this.
    and the “cicada chorus swells & dwindles, a metallic surf” triggered a nice misreading for me at first. you know, like reverb and fuzz-boxes.
    thanks

    Reply

    1. Well, but they are like that, a little. (Glad you liked.)

      Reply

  6. On this coolest of summers, my house has been painted a blinding white, like the bed of a lake that vanished into the clouds, leaving only its salt.

    A great line.

    Reply

    1. Oh, good! That was my main insight and the impetus for the poem.

      Reply

  7. The contrast between the movement of the crickets and the stillness of the honey is nice. and I liked the bed of the vanished lake. reminds me of what dry lakebeds show during drought.
    This has me thinking about writing a prose poem or something about my deck’s four or five flaking layers of paint.
    I reread Huck Finn last year. it’s one of my favorite books. I have always loved it but I appreciate it much more now than I did as a child.

    Reply

    1. You know, I’m not even sure we have a copy of Huckleberry Finn anywhere around the farm. How shameful.

      Glad you liked the poem. I guess it didn’t turn out too bad considering how brain-dead I felt when I banged it out.

      Reply

Leave a Reply