Scientists have calculated how many ants
are on Earth.—Washington Post, 9/19/22
Not just a billion. Not even a trillion.
But twenty thousand trillion here on Earth.
Two and a half million for each one of us.
So very, very many ants.
Industrious, tiny-waisted, the little fellows
are busy aerating the soil so plants can grow,
then serving themselves up as food
for bigger guys.
But twenty thousand trillion!
An impossibly inconceivable number.
Are there even that many grains of sand
in the world? That many stars
in the universe?
Somewhere in heaven famed bug scientist
E.O. Wilson is smiling.
Tell Me, Bee
Experiments indicate that bees have surprisingly
rich inner worlds—Washington Post, 7/31/22
Good night, say the bees, embracing
each other in a flower, clasping
each other’s feet.
They have worked hard today—
we know that about bees, know
they’re always busy.
But what a surprise that such tiny brains
are capable of thought and memory
Creativity too, I’d guess.
Their honeycomb an art.
Their buzzing a symphony.
Tell me what you’re thinking, bee.
Tell me the secrets you whisper as you fly,
your dreams of sweet nectar fit for a queen.
Tell me what it’s like to work together
for the hive, what it’s like to be
a being like you.
Tell me, bee.