THE WAIL OF A STINKBUG
Unclean! Unclean! Great tenderhearted God,
Do not come near, we are an outcast race,
The lepers of the insect
world, the worst,
Afflicted, feared and covered
For we have lost control
of our exhaust,
And when we PANIC, somehow
it lets loose,
noxious, putrid, foul and horrid stink,
loathsome, vile and straight-from-hell-ish juice.
mercy on yourself, Exalted Sovereign,
stay away from this, our last resort,
we wish to link with other creatures,
only with each other dare consort.
Whatís that? Whatís that? You like our pungent odor?
You cooked it up on your computer screen?
Diversity was what you hankered
To teach that nothing created
Youíve made us clowns, then,
Harlequin of Heaven?
To make folks grin instead
of cry in grief?
give us grace to take ourselves more lightly,
to provide comic relief.
Clown! Great Ocean of Surprises!
sense of humor strengthens us to cope.
all our smiles be edged around with sadness,
all our griefs have wistful tints of hope.
All right, come here where stinkbugs bow in worship,
Where red and blue and green clown-creatures crawl.
Your Presence will improve
our low self-image -
Be careful! Donít cause PANIC
in us all!
from the forthcoming book Prayers of 100 Animals A to Z, by William Cleary