The little things #poetry #earthweal

Back when I lived in Catalunya 
the people bemoaned the plague of them:
Els mosquits – the mosquitoes 
which had invaded the town
in such large numbers that
you couldn’t go out at midday
as within a few minutes, your arms
and legs would be full of enough welts
to leave you itching for a month.
‘There were never so many,’ one woman told me,
‘they came about 5 years ago.’
The Asian tiger mosquito
with its striped silver legs that you can’t see
smaller than the native 
but a nastier foe.

Sometimes I think it will be the little things 
which will lead to our undoing 
already, mosquitoes are the deadliest creatures known to man
(the little things)
their burgeoning population means the frogs and toads are dying
(the little things)
mean the food chain’s already breaking down
(little things like)
a microscopic virus which brings our world to a standstill:
(the little things)
should hold our full attention now.

© All Rights Reserved.

Written for earthweal

This week, Brendan asks us to:

‘weave extinction tales. Make them a manifesto, a myth, a meander or a hymn. Ponder not only the loss of a particular lifeform but intimate web it has become a ghost in.’

I chose to write about the preponderance of a particular life form, and what it means for the extinction web we are weaving.

40 thoughts on “The little things #poetry #earthweal

Add yours

  1. When trying to eradicate them, maybe we’re fixing the wrong problem? Was this a problem a hundred years ago, I wonder? I don’t know much about it but I suspect they have gradually migrated north.

    1. I think their predators are dying off as well. Imagine some new illness crops up that can be spread by mosquitoes (I mean, we should be ok in Britain, but…)

      1. It’s morning now … and I’ve just watch “The Diving Bell And The Butterfly” … Thanks for that … I enjoy the film, although I left a few tears on my pillow …

  2. Mosquitoes shall surely be the end of us! Here,its the rainy season in India,so they’re breeding incessantly, and plaguing us 🙁 .God knows when we shall be forever rid of these pesky creatures >-(

  3. Well said, Ingrid. Too many little things become big things! The mosquitoes were worse this year than I have ever seen. Due to actual monsoons, it seems, however their presence has never been such an annoyance and brought an increase in West Nile Virus cases.

  4. Excellent response to the challenge, Ingrid. It’s the ltttle things that matter; what happens with them tells the bigger story. Pestilence is one of the four horsemen of climate change. The cadence here and repetition are hammers driving your point.

  5. True, once we upset the delicate ecological balance, the interdependence between all the big and the micro lives… things will come apart pretty quickly and that is terrifying.

  6. We are under siege from very tiny fire ants. I have 4 nasty bites on one foot. We bait them, but they keep returning!
    The fact that we don’t have mosquitos means that the county is using large amounts of toxic spray.

    After reading your poem, I will be on the lookout for all the little things! Have a lovely weekend, Ingrid!

    1. They do sound nasty! And typical that we fight back against the mosquitoes by polluting the environment rather than trying to increase biodiversity!

  7. I always joke about becoming one with the forest in summer – drop by drop of blood at a time carried on the whining wings of mosquitoes. But yes – it is worth taking note of the little things.

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