W is for WHAT3VR #AtoZ Challenge

Day 23 in the AtoZ Challenge is the letter W.
It is also National Poetry Month.  So I am writing a poem a day this month inspired by vanity plates spied around parking lots in Maine in 2018.

W is for WHAT3VER
I didn’t think I liked this poem.  First, it  doesn't rhyme.  Second, I started out thinking I wanted it to go in a different direction - which it did - not MY direction!
And because it wasn't a direction I thought I'd go...like why was I writing about "ants"???... I didn’t feel like writing it.
But ants are on my mind.  We have been battling these small ants in the house lately, and whatever we did this morning while pulling some weeds stirred a huge nest and they came parading out of nowhere, and then gathering in large groups on the walkway at the front of the house.  They were the same kind as we'd seen inside the house, so I killed them all...sorry for those of you who think I should just fence them off or take them somewhere to set them free in the wild.  That just isn’t going to happen!

So the "whatever" poem of sorts came to mind while I was sitting here wondering what to write.  And here it is. 
After I wrote it, I read it.  It isn't as bad as I thought it was going to be when I set out to write.  Lots of times - and this was one of them - I don't even know if I am the writer or just the conduit... maybe there was an ant ghost whispering in my ear.

Whatever Ants Know

Ants know the small parts
Of the large
The crevices of tree bark
The sand and pebble pockets
Of sidewalks
The blunt edge of a sharp
Blade of grass
Ants know the roundness
Of a drop of rain on dry pavement
Does it fear the one drop
That has the power to drown?
Does is flinch at the shadow of
A bumblebee or crow?
Ants know the tickle of soil
On antennae above their heads,
And know which is weightier, a grain
of sand or a leaf wedge.
Ants know whatever is deemed
Important in their downsized world;
Plants are plants, garden or wild,
Houses are just hillsides with a different interior,
Sidewalks go on forever with the occasional
Oasis of green grass in a deep ravine.
Whatever an ant knows
Is important to us also
Just in a different perspective, proportion
Or portion.
Do ants know people exist before they
Feel their last whatever?

By Donna JT Smith ©2019

It is also Poetry Friday!!
Let's see what else is out there to read!  Go check out the links at our host's site:
Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy where she is hosting the last Poetry Friday of National Poetry Month.


  1. Oh this is so clever. I especially love that final ending.
    I too have had that eruption of ants while working in the garden. It's actually terrifying when they seem to just explode out of the earth. I killed mine also.

    1. Ants bother me because they have a purpose...a job they are doing...I don't like them in the house. There is no job I need them to do in here! I'm glad you killed your ants, too. I think there are plenty to go around!

  2. Whatever was on your mind, it definitely worked its way into your "rant on ants" and the delightful expression of poetry that followed.
    AtoZChallenge very short stories

    1. Thanks, Gail. This has been a busy week for me watching grandchildren, and so I am behind on everything. Hoping today to get around to reading. AtoZ is winding down!

  3. This line strikes a cord with me, Donna: "I don't even know if I am the writer or just the conduit." How many times do we set out with one purpose and during the writing process veer down another path? The muse sat on your shoulder and gave you a topic to write about. "Whatever an ant knows/Is important to us also/Just in a different perspective...I think you are so good at rhyming poems that you felt this one was not going to make a point but it certainly did.

    1. Thanks for the positives! I considered going back and editing the poem to see if I could get it more in a rhyming mode...but decided the poem wanted to be left alone. I doubt that ants are big on having things rhyme anyway. LOL! When I was a child I read "City Under the Backsteps" by Evelyn Sibley Lampman, and I found it again to read to my first graders. It's a chapter book for older elementary, but as a read aloud my kids loved it, too. Tells of two kids who get shrunk (hmmm. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids...I wonder if he read this book?)and live with some ants. Tells all sorts of facts about ants in a fictional way. I always remember that book when I see ants.

  4. I love your intro to this, Donna, the last resort of ants everywhere is the ridding of them. I'm sorry too, but they cannot be allowed to enter those "Houses are just hillsides with a different interior," The way you wrote from their POV is so clever, like the hillsides and that 'deep ravine'. Love it!

  5. Thank you, Donna, for giving me an ant perspective and a Saturday chuckle. Now you've made it a trifle harder for me to rid our outside pathway of ants (which I do because our little grands walk on that pathway).

  6. I love your musings on what ants know. But not enough to let them into the house. That's quite species-ist of me, I know. But the scale of their population is huge. (Still probably not a good enough excuse for taking a life, no matter how small.) Oh, the dilemmas of home-ownership!

  7. My fave lines are the first nine - amplifying such small things. I particularly like blunt edge of a sharp blade of grass!

  8. This is a clever poem to capture the ants' points of view. Good luck keeping them from your house. I much prefer they do their job outside.

  9. I love the idea that ants know the roundness of a drop of rain. Nice job!


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