The Cinnamon Beetle

We had a Twitter poetry party last Thursday, and the prompts were taken from Harvesting Fog: Poems by poet and writer Luci Shaw. And – a special treat – Luci Shaw herself joined in the jam.

Somehow, Legos, cinnamon beetles, tattoos and open windows became the focus of the early part of the session. And if for no other reason than we like the name “cinnamon beetle” to say out loud (not to eat), here are the first three poems from the session.

The Cinnamon Beetle
By @memoriaarts, @mdgoodyear, @llbarkat, @EricSwalberg, @luci_shaw, @gyoung9751, @RuminateMag, @mrsmetaphor, @doallas, @LoveLifeLitGod, @nmdr_, @KathleenOverby, @Sand_RAD, @mxings, @mmerubies, @charsingleton, @CherylSmith999, @lauraboggess, and @VinaMist. Cameo appearances by @LuvStomp, @poemblaze and @annkroeker. Edited by @gyoung9751.

Prism light on a beetle’s wing

Prism light on a beetle’s wing:
beetle, shiny as the lego coaster car
my son is yelling at me to help him build.
Build the car; build it with wings
coast to Byzantium.

Beetles eat rainbows, memories
of you and me.
beetles yawn at days
as ours spin by
building fragile lego lives

Prism light on a beetle’s wing:
colors caress the curve,
climbing with secrets to share
But the ladybugs are shy,
reticent and lonely.

Who can be lonely
in Byzantium? Only near
the ruins where the beetles
pick their way. I watch the beetle
slouching to Byzantium.

Prism light on a beetle’s wing:
That is no place for old cars
with tired wings and weary drivers
puttering to Byzantium. They smell
the rotting flesh of centuries.

In a noisy lego world
with too many bricks and
not enough plans, old cars will fold
their wings like beetles,
spidering their way to sleep.

Prism light on a beetle’s wing:
the rays bisect my shoulder,
refracting rainbows of muscle
and bone. Beetles will always be
strangers to bone, sinew, bloodflow.

Carapace shimmers, splits dark mist;
wings sputter to life,carrying off
the rainbow. Expose a bone to the wind
and the beetle’s eye appears, a Sphinx
dressed in purple and pink stripes.

Prism light on a beetle’s wing:
On forgotten streets
I creep along in your maze
of memories found, hiding beneath
iridescent skin wet with tears.

I dreamed I was a tattoo

We yawn and turn to take our tea
a carapace split of memory,
a tattoo of love, mysterious to read
a carapace of forgotten dreams,
dreaded burden, rainbow hope shards.

I dreamed I was a tattoo,
sinking beneath the skin
In what dark alleys will
you find the right tattoo
that speaks of love?

Like spiderswho wish only to fly
we turn and yawn into our tea,
leaves too mysterious to read.
Lift the curtain too and
the skirted cloth at the table.

You drove under my skin
labyrinth tattoos from heart,
mind, longing, soul, tattoos
of love, stained blue, stained red
always red/stained emerald and azure.

We forget we bleed when the needle
hits the skin. I dreamed my skin
was tattered writhing under a tattoo,
burning through to my soul;
a paltry thing.

Tattoo coda

Ask not for whom the tat-toos
It tat-toos for three
But even tattoos cannot survive
unless they have wings.
To tat or not to tat?
The question had to be asked.
Next question:
to tweet or not to tweet.


  1. says

    I slipped in at the end and though I contributed nothing official, I feel I was part of things. Thanks for including me in the fun–cinnamon beetle. Yum.


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