ants come marching

hey thanks for the cookie
that was a good one maybe it was
from the bakery down the street i really
appreciate the gesture and so
against what is no doubt my strong
self interest i feel compelled
to report that yesterday i met an ant
on your counter here
just the one guy he was scouting
and he might have left finding not much
as youre so tidy in your kitchen but unfortunately
he found a popsicle stick
i know it surprised me too but surprise
or no the reality of it is he
nodded to me and said ahoy
thats a bad sign as i think you know
that one ant is harbinger of an army thereof
they will come my friend
so i worry because of course this means war
and decimation of a platoon of fine
soldiers who are just following orders
and the scent of sugar
use caution my human friend
life is in the balance and you
can tip the scales

Inspired by Archy’s voice: Archy & Mehitabel


  1. Give them coffee
    The grinds will make them swell up
    Cruel but nice.
    300 thousand to a nest on average.
    Wish I could find their nest.
    And yes, sugar...life in the balance, and I crave it so.
    Maybe eat the ants once they are sugar-filled?
    I wish I hadn't read this
    and you wish I had'nt said this.

  2. I love this. Your lack of punctuation. Your fantastic line breaks. The free-flow run-on style. Fantastic!

  3. the ants are footing it through the lines here with nothing to stop them! The Popsicle stick! (Someone's in trouble.) My Grandmother gave me two cures which have made my life simpler. (1) a line o borax around the room edges and all ant entrances. (2) the same with PAPRIKA! I have not tried mixing the two. I keep stocked on paprika for ants and also deviled eggs.

  4. With warmer days come ants ~ Thank goodness they are outside of the houses, not inside though ~

    Love the inspiration too,must read his work again ~

  5. I like the free flowing style, and the way you made it relevant to us all at the end.

    And for those who might like to try a compassionate approach, a very good ant repellent is peppermint--they hate it, and will turn back and head the other way. Peppermint oil is probably the best--mix a few drops of the pure oil with some water in a spray bottle, and spray it under your doors, etc. Makes the house smell nice too!

  6. Hahaha! I love this, Marian (mainly because I think that I am living in an ant's nest - we are just the annoying interlopers in their world).
    I love the cockroach's tone - so kindly warning, as if he were quite the accepted guest.

    1. PS. No ant friendly repellents for me - bring the rain!!!!

      (Friendly repellent? Isn't that an oxymoron?)

  7. Marian, I adore your style. Loved the perspective of a platoon just following orders. And am relieved at Timo's antidote which is a compassionate one.

  8. This is wonderful, Marian. I can imagine archy saying it, and I can imagine the colony of ants under the corner of our house where my husband's office is. I keep telling him about them, but he refuses to do anything. Some day the room will fall down around his ears and he'll wonder why. Being a little bit mean, I just might say, "I told you so."

  9. This was great! I enjoyed it.

  10. hilarious. takes talent to write sans punctuation contrary to what many believe. impressed with those who are equally skilled with line breaks in free verse another skill some mistakenly believe is easy. enjoyed.

  11. From cookies to warfare in the span of a few lines, ants marching and acting on a grand scale. I think archy and Marquis would each approve.

  12. "... because of course this means war
    and decimation of a platoon of fine
    soldiers who are just following orders
    and the scent of sugar"


  13. Wonderful. I would love to hear this poem read out loud.

  14. a runaway sentence that takes us right to the heart of compassion... the hard choices we like to pretend are not choices at all.

  15. This ramble contains a lot of wisdom. Ants are so industrious, if inconvenient. Only a squeaky-clean house will keep them at bay. No food = no ants. And no roaches, yeeeach!

    Oh, yes, they love the sweet stuff. Ants and dandelions: Facts of life, and they were probably here before we were, so I cannot use those little poison things. I love them for surviving. Peace, Amy

  16. who knew a poem could inspire insect-repellent advice? ;) xo pals!

  17. one ant is harbinger of an army thereof

    :) !!!


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!