Clare McCullough

I, Ladybug (or the power of small things)

The aphid tasted good.

Rough grass irritated

my wiggling six legs.

Talented black spots 

decorated my ambitious

red wings.

Yet unobserved 

by the sharpest hawk’s eye 

with a clear blue sky.

I, Ladybug

matched the color

of the bright burnt sun. 

I, Ladybug

soared over mountains

and burrowed under fallen leaves

by the rushing stream

finding my way between

the cracks of a tree

near invisibility leading

to immutability

I, Ladybug, marched beneath the 

door frame and

right onto your page.


Empty empty empty

Full full full

O’er the land, peasant and gentry

The woman push and the plow pull

Old old old

Young young young

Losers and winners both are bold

birds loud and quiet both fly with fun

Hot Hot Hot

Cold Cold Cold

Cross the t’s and bend the ought

Clothes and paper destined to fold

Telling me my fortune

Reading my palms

Gleaning dinner’s burnt bits

From the bottom of the pan

Defending each other

To the rhythm of the ceiling fan

Noisy noisy noisy

Calm calm calm

Pushing fingers in each other’s ears

Humming along to the radio

Taking one two three many steps

In the darkness of the patio

Birds chirping in December

The rain falling and clearing embers

A Meal for Oneself

White plate on roommate’s placemat

“Vintage” brown table and creaky radiator in the corner

The neighbors above us are fighting.

Feet pound pounding on the cap of our ceiling.

Canned tomatoes – out of basil

Fresh or otherwise-

Three shards of dried bay leaf set to simmer

Translucent onions stained glass by the olive oil

That block of parmesan

              C’mon -put your elbow into it

Great shocks of white square salt

And stings of red and black pepper

The palate,

              -does it sing?

Getting a Midnight Snack

The sounds press into my ears like feet into sand

The wailing shudder of the trees

The moan of the protesting stairs

I creep up.




My feet licking the ground

Quietly. Carefully

Eyes straining-

Stomach complaining-

The clutter of the unkempt kitchen is my companion on this secret journey

The eternity of ledges go on for miles

My legs move swiftly racing the second hand

careful not to wake the slumbering inhabitants of the house.

Photo credit: Clare McCullough

Join our Mailing list!

Get all latest news, exclusive deals and event updates.