transformers

For the dVerse prompt “creepies and crawlies“, a sonnet about slaters:

When the sun is up and the birds about
you can find them, if you know where they creep
into the crevices, all flattened out –
the slate-grey slaters, all huddled in sleep.
But lift up the pot, and let in the light
antennae lift up, and fourteen legs stir
tiny crustacea quiver in fright,
moving so fast all you see is a blur.
As each slater moves to protect itself –
no, they haven’t run, they’re all still right there,
not a single one’s left the greenhouse shelf.
But what are these new things, here in their lair?
These cousins of prawns, transformed, one and all,
instead of a plate, each one’s now a ball!

31 Comments

Filed under gardening, poem

31 responses to “transformers

  1. This is creepily good Kate! 🙂

  2. I didn’t know the name for these, though I’ve seen them: I thought they were just ‘big woodlice’ 😂’cousins of prawns,’ but perhaps not so tasty?

  3. I have never heard of these, nor seen them before. They must be from the louse family as they have the same shell structure as the millipede. I imagine there’s a lot of fascinating creatures native only to Oz 🙂

  4. they lay
    there
    money on the concrete
    lost to them
    found to me
    oh oh
    see?

  5. As kids, we called ’em “rolly pollies”. Thanks for the memory and proper name 🙂

  6. writingwhatnots

    As Ingrid says, they look like our woodlice. Enjoyed the rhymes in this, especially:
    ‘But lift up the pot, and let in the light
    antennae lift up, and fourteen legs stir
    tiny crustacea quiver in fright,
    moving so fast all you see is a blur.’

  7. “Slaters “ is a great name for them, as mentioned by others “woodlice” is the common name here. Like the sonnet!

  8. We get slaters in Tassie too! I was fascinated by then as a kid, I thought they were like miniature armadillo’s! I like your poem 🙂

  9. Wonderful. Who could have guessed that a sonnet could be written on the subject of the humble slaters (I’ve always known them as ‘rolly pollies’)? And writing a sonnet on any subject is no easy task! A quite enjoyable read.

    • If you haven’t come across dVerse (online) poet’s pub before, it’s worth a look. Regular poetry challenges, including different forms, and an explanation and examples of each form. I find it a great way to push myself to try something different. https://dversepoets.com/ “Linger” is the word to include in a quadrille in the most recent prompt – I noticed it was in one of your most recent poems that I really enjoyed. 🙂

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