Black Beetles

black beetles creeping down the walls
eyes stare out
nothing behind them except everything
nothing behind them at all

black beetles clickety-click-cuhlicking along
ash curlicues
swirls and slithers through my veins
dancing pearls down my veins
alphabet ash moves slow out my veins
my veins as roads to pure thought

black beetles skittering right out the walls
there’s numbness and pride
or disgust and shame
they all reflect identical faces
mirror to mirror
infinity feedback loop
there’s numbness and shame weeping
until the muddy earthen vessel overflows
melts through the side
melts holes out the side
pours and flows out the holes

black beetles slip and fall to their backs
slipping and wishing they all could go back
back up and over and in
back over my chin past my teeth and my throat
black beetles wanting just to go back home

tara caribou | ©2020

Read this and more in my poetry book, Fallen Star Rising.

47 Comments on “Black Beetles

  1. This piece, for me, shows how developed your work has become. I like the macabre tone and lyricalness. Hints Of Dahl, and I love the tantalising threat of hopelessness flanked by the need to go on and show, and do. Beetles seem to be a perfect fit too, anything else might not have the same impact…..maybe spiders, but I prefer your choice!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Mark. I appreciate your insight. And yes, they were definitely beetles. I’ve played around a bit with writing, well, sort of like you do, in that my words have underlying meanings. There’s the surface… and then there’s the underneath stuff.


  2. There’s a strong capacity to act radically through words, and I can only imagine how good it must feel to sense it if you can put on this kind of work.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice one. The second to last line makes me wonder if there is something more to this poem or just an intense visual B-)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sometimes I think we are all black beetles! Climbing the walls wishing to get back on our feet!!

    By the way, I checked out your book on Kindle and all I got was a cover. I could not turn the pages.

    Liked by 1 person

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