Spring-Summer 2010




Photo of sawtooth sunflower (Helianthus grosseserratus) by LeAnn Spencer. Copyright © 2010. All rights reserved.

Photo of sunset by Jason Sturner. Copyright © 2010.
All rights reserved.

Another Bug Poem

Lisa Cihlar

April is the smell of slurry manure, frozen in clumps last month,
now thawed in the feedlot, Holsteins up to their cow ankles
in the shit.  Tractors, tank trucks, dozers, growl around, sunrise
to sunset, collecting, scraping, spreading, a fine mist of brown soup
over last year’s corn fields, soon to be this year’s soy beans.
Soy beans bring in aphids and bean beetles.  Aphids attract lady bugs. 
None of them recognize boundaries like the county road or fence-lines.
They come crawling or flying to my tiny patch and turn blue lake bean
leaves into lace.  

I set mayonnaise jar lids filled with Milwaukee’s cheapest under
the fountain leaves of hosta to control slugs that like the damp shady
corner on the north side.  Do they really like beer, or is the lid just
a shortcut from here to there, in which they accidently drown? 
Hot April brings the first tent caterpillars, webbing ends of branches
in the magenta blooming crab apple.  Striped brown and black, lethal
looking hair tufts.  See one — oh a caterpillar, see a thousand — kill them.
And we do with squirt of lighter fluid and flame.