‘Reality Check’ and Other Poetry by David D. Nolta The Society February 10, 2021 Humor, Poetry 10 Comments . Reality Check A ladybug landed on my arm On Saturday. I felt the charm The chosen feel. It brought with it Good luck—or so I thought—then bit Deep into me, paused for air, Spread its spots beside a hair, Then bit again. My gratitude became alarm That such a tiny thing could harm— And worse, harm me, providing it With such a tender place to sit. (The bug’s an “it” because it’s fair To say that was no lady there, Nor gentleman.) The insect and the sting are gone. It’s Tuesday night, and from the lawn Rise other wings—they rise and drop And hover and glide; some veer, some stop Mid-air, while some move toward a light Beneath which I remain in sight, Patient for an explanation. Near one elbow, two little marks Suggest with insects, as with sharks, Contact is often arbitrary, Made first by teeth. If now I’m wary Of luck or pride (at least my own) That ladybug has struck a bone And left to me my re-creation. . . A Paradox of Love and Mercy If I were a fish and you were a fly, You better believe I’d try. I’d try! If I were the fly and you were the fish, I know you’d grant my final wish To take another, closer look, Then pass me up, both heart and hook, Thereby sparing us sharing a dish. So you’d make a much better fish than I, Who couldn’t resist—I’d leap—I’d die! If I were a fish, and you were a fly. . . David D. Nolta is an art historian and currently Professor and Chair of History of Art at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. He has been published in Rattle, Innisfree, Chelsea Station, and Subtropics, among others. He also published two mystery novels, Grave Circle and Lostlindens. NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 10 Responses Paul Freeman February 10, 2021 I particularly enjoyed ‘Reality Check’. That ladybird deserved a damn good thrashing! Thanks for the read. Reply David Nolta February 10, 2021 Thank you for reading it! Reply Gail Marie Root February 10, 2021 These brought two savory memories to mind. On Lake Coeur d’Alene near the end of each sultry summer the lady bugs would swarm. I endured the torture of their biting when drying off and dressing after my evening swim. They’re very nippy if they get trapped under clothing! And, presently, three creeks converge in a wood (did you hear that? . . . couldn’t resist!) behind my house. The dragonfly armada sails in every evening to eat up all our mosquitoes. Reply David Nolta February 10, 2021 And thank you for reading me! Reply Gail February 10, 2021 Of course! Daniel Kemper February 10, 2021 I liked [Paradox] the best. Perhaps touches my childhood as a Kitty Hawker, lost among the reeds in the salt marsh creeks seeing the flies and fish and dreaming on the girls I’d see in school on Monday morning. Reply David Nolta February 10, 2021 That is a poem in itself, in my opinion. Reply Yael February 10, 2021 Enjoyable poems, both of them. Our poor native ladybugs, aka ladybirds, have gotten a really bad rap lately, due to no fault of their own. They never bite nor sting and are among the very beneficial insects for agriculture. Their evil invader look-alike impostors, the imported Asian lady beetles, are the nasty biters. To add insult to injury they invade homes and other heated structures for overwintering and they eat and harm the native ladybugs. Worse than kudzu! Reply David Nolta February 10, 2021 I had no idea! Thank you. I only know that this bug was a biter! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant February 11, 2021 David, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading both of these poems. I love the tongue-twisting, mind-bending lines of, ” A Paradox of Love and Mercy”, and especially love the musical swish of the “ish’ rhymes. “Reality Check” is just lovely. It takes me back to my childhood days in the UK, when I couldn’t believe such a sweet bug could bite… and hard. Apparently, during lean times they will eat their kin… a ladybird’s shell is pretty tough, so no wonder you felt its nip. My husband was bitten by a dragonfly he was saving from a spider’s web and the words of your poem remind me of the sheer shock and surprise on his face. Great stuff! Thank you! Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.