The Great Eccentric Entomologist 

Small, hard beetles, shinning jewels 
perverting the light like pearlised 
varnish on the nails of young girls. 

They weren’t tough 
enough nor wise
enough to escape 
him and his pinch.

Dead in his palm, dead 
pinned against a white backing sheet, 
pincers reaching for a final hand hold. 

His hobby, his collection, his delicate love
and the reason for his simple secretive smile.

Across counties and countries he chases
them, seeking out their scuttle 
of high heels on Sunday morning streets, 
their palate of cheap eye shadows. He takes 
them all, from the smallest to the gnarliest. 

Dermestidae Dynastinae

He blends into his surroundings: 
a shopping centre, an unpronounceable
city jungle. He changes hues, changes browns, 
and greens and greys. He doesn’t need to attract; 
he hunts, he yanks, he lifts, he breaks every rule
of the countryside. 

Not for him the flippant elegance of the butterfly.
Not for him, our man so fashionably eccentric 
in his shirt made by sweat-shop children. 
No, he collects the Scarabaeidaes of life,
in their urge upwards to become 
most beautiful, most venerated, most highly paid
of all the Scarabaidas.

Copyright A Head 2022- an earlier version appeared with a different title in Poetry Now in 2010

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels

Like this poem? You can show your support by buying me a coffee @ or by buying one of my books (The Waiting Usurper, Asphodel Meadows, The Family Care.) They can also be borrowed via Kindle Unlimited.

Extracts are available on my website


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