Rats

We, your shadows
follow, never seen
but ever near,

whisker-nosy-nibbling
nosh you left for junk,
we’re craving, clawing

our bellies swelling
from your garbage
always growing

breeding mischief
in your bedroom leaving
fleas and feces

we are hated, hunted
but we are winners
know your darkness well.

Two Rats by Vincent van Gogh

Today at dVerse, Kim, gives us two poems one by Silvia Plath called Mushrooms and the second by her husband Ted Hughes named Thistles, they have some similarities in that they depict less desirable growth and are written in tercets. She challenge us to write inspired by one or both of the poems, something along the same lines. I cannot thing think of anything worse than rats.

November 26, 2019

17 responses to “Rats

  1. Ooh, rats – shudders! We do hate them, don’t we? even though they can make lovely pets. I think you capture the sense of them as invasive, dirty, repellant. Nice short lines, Bjorn – I’m guessing you went with “Mushrooms”!

  2. I have a fear of rats. We had to deal with in the many cheap rentals I lived in as a kid. They would chew through the walls, and they bit my sister. If you poisoned them, they would die in the walls or under the house and stink for weeks.

  3. I agree that rats are nasty creatures, they carry diseases, but they do serve a purpose in disposing of rubbish. My cat Luna keeps our house and garden free of rats. When I was a child, I rescued baby rats from the school laboratory when their tame mother died in a thunderstorm. Sadly, they didn’t survive. You’ve captured the essence of wild rats in this poem, Björn, with the idea of them hiding in shadows, their bellies swelling and leaving fleas and faeces. They are awful and would survive any kind of holocaust, together with cockroaches and flies.

  4. Bjorn: you said to me, “I see a downward spiral into depression driven by dark words.” We must have been channeling each other that day. Interestingly, I took “shadows” in a Jungian way which gives the poem a different deeper spin than you intended and new meaning to the last line. And maybe “know” to “knowing”.
    I had to look up the work nosh. Fun. It is rising in popularity. Not sure if you know about NGRAM: https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=nosh&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Cnosh%3B%2Cc0

    Suggestions for possible future edits: a comma after “shadows”.

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