Barbara Black and Jonathan Ottke

Jonathan Ottke
Inspiration piece

As Camponotus* Is to Love
By Barbara Black

“The work on ants has profoundly affected the way I think about humans.”
E. O. Wilson

A hidden entry, blind
nocturnal tappings, and
trails of odour message.

Amber moons of dreamless
nights, silent, we burrow
tunnels to the heart’s red

antechambers, where moist
nests reward our labour.
Take us to love’s end and

after, we won’t look back
needful of the way out,
tender inside this space.

* the carpenter ant

Author’s note: The structure of the poem, 3-line stanzas (tercets) with each line having six beats, echoes the structure of the ant’s body: 3 body segments, with six legs. The first letter of each line spells out letters of the word “ant” vertically.


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