DAILY PHOTO: Cool Bugs of Karnataka

Dead Leaf Mantis; Taken in Ramanagara Hills on July 3, 2020

Six-Spotted Ground Beetle [a.k.a. Saber-Tooth Ground Beetle and Domino Beetle — fyi: Don’t pick up these buggers as they spray formic acid.]

Mantis; Chennagiri Hill; July 4, 2020

Wasps; Chennagiri; July 4, 2020

POEM: Day’s End Dance

Patches of pink on army green —
the rhododendrons bloom.
In the hills of Himalaya —
gone the sad winter gloom.

Gone the weight of weary sinew —
the soul begins its float.
We feel the fire of shining skies
as we shed pack and coat.

The body, so still and silent —
nonetheless takes to dance.
The hike’s exhaustion falls away
and one tunes in the trance.

POEM: Death & Nature

Don’t bother to bury or burn my body —

just let my bones bleach white.

Throw me in a hole in the jungle —
food for wild dogs, worms, and germs.

Nature’s truth —
a truth painful only to humans —
is that in life we are all consumers,
and in death we are all food.

In nature’s view,
big brains put us no closer to the feet of gods
than does the ancient memory of trees,
the octa-ambidexterity of an octopus,
or the network optimization of fungal mycelia.

We are all both consumer & food.

POEM: Paradise Unknown

In a meadow, amid a dark forest
grows a grass so green it glows.
Never sets foot a pilgrim or tourist.
Where it lies, only an old local knows.

Plus, the grazing creatures of the forest
who wander that way when dining time comes.
It sings but silence — no insect chorus.
No sound is heard, save one’s own thin heart thrum.

Burdened is the keeper of that meadow,
with a secret for which some would murder.
But paradise is too frail to be known
to the heartless hand of human herders.

Paradise trampled is paradise lost.
So, the keeper keeps his secret at all costs.

POEM: A Dead Winter Stillness

a faintly unnerving stillness burdens the forest

-not a beast scurrying or digging

-no birdcalls of alarm or affection

frost glitters on the rooted earth when the sun cracks through the clouds

but then falls invisible,

leaving that black soil unadorned

what do the hidden creatures smell?

what do the birds that pass silently over this forest know?