Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ode to the Ferocious Hantik

Dr Abe V Rotor

Green Tree Ant or hantik (Oecephalla smaragdina) nest hanging in a 
tree;  closeup and partially open nest; closeup of a worker; and army 
on the move; fatal attack on a bee, in stages.  The tidbits and pulps 
are carried up to the nest to feed the larvae and the royal family.  

You build your house up in a tree next to the sky,
     with leaves sewn together and always green,
within throbs a colony of a thousand and one  
     workers and soldiers in allegiance to a queen.  

As the day dawns, your army prepares for the trail,
     down the tree to hunt, before the sun is out, 
for food - preys and morsels, armed with mandible,
     strong as vise, sharp as razor, to tear or cut.    

On spotting a prey live, a string of soldiers descend
  stealthily like from a Trojan Horse of old days,
Then swarming over the prize hunt until it’s down,
   slaughter it to the last bit without any trace.

Nothing is left of the struggle, Sherlock Holmes
     would agree.  And new preys would come unwary,
and fall into the same modus operandi of numbers,
     and precise attack like the Legion in its glory.

Lessons man has learned from your ferocity dictate
     his wars and social order while saving dignity
through rationality he alone claims to have, but you –
     primitive and raw is your world of ferocity ~

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