Bestiary for the End Times

Overall, the insects (Everywhere)
"God has an inordinate fondness for beetles"
The cave beetle with her sensory
chitin case breathed in the air
from the water and peered
through her eyes at the sun.
Rhantus papuanis lived in trees,
a rust-colored jewel with ochre bands.
One day she climbed to the treetops
and thrust her haggard horns at the sky.
Who did she talk to there?
What stellar jungle did she see?
The scarab beetle, so reasoned
the Egyptians, rolls her ball of dung
until she disappears it in the ground
just as the sun emerges and vanishes
each day. She travels by the moon
and stars, drawn by the Milky Way.
The Mono Lake Diving Beetle
bearing the sun on her broad back
dove beneath miles of Sierra granite
and sent the solar disc across the underworld
to emerge in the calderas of Hokkaido.
The Saproxylic beetle of old Europe ate
decaying wood and shat out soil
to make the fertile substrates of empire.
Now, she has flown off to the stars.
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