||[Nov. 27th, 2011|11:56 pm]
Millipedes are turning up in the house with increasing frequency. Mostly they hang out around the kitchen and bathrooms, but once in a while one will venture into a carpeted region, where they are hard to see. So far I haven't stepped on any (as far as I know,) but its probably only a matter of time. When I spot one, I'll usually pick it up and put it back outdoors. They are probably not grateful, The house is much warmer than the outside, which is probably why they come in. If millipedes have a mythology, I'm probably one of their monsters. |
by John Burnside
All night, the long-eared bats
flicker from tree to tree
through the scent of rain;
The luckiest survive for fifteen years,
quick, in the swim of the air
or skimming the earth
Where cats from the village
pluck them entire from the darkness.
To the Ancient Chinese
they meant luck;
to the Flemish, affection;
But here, what they most resemble
All skitter and echo,
gathering, then forgetting.
wow, that poem! i love it.
are millipedes the black ones that kind of undulate as they crawl? are they poisonous? i hate crawling things, feh.
Millipedes are the ones with their legs pointing down. Centipedes, with their legs pointing out to the sides, are the poisonous ones. Millipedes are black, but I've never seen them undulate. Mostly they walk straight ahead unless they want to turn or they come to a corner, and then they articulate themselves around it. They have lots of short body segments. I use a tissue to pick them up because, though not venomous, they do secrete an irritant which can make you itch.
John Burnside is fairly young (born 1955.) I've only recently heard of him, though he's been publishing since at least 1988. He was a software engineer before becoming a full-time writer, so I guess he could be classed as a true geek poet. He writes fiction as well, but I haven't read any of it yet.
oh, ok, gotcha. we had centipedes in an apartment on long island, and those things are scary. eeeek.
i'll keep my eyes open for more from Burnside. thanks for the intro!