I’ve been working on a new book

It’s been several months since my last blog. I’ve been busy. Mostly I’ve been writing a book about ants. But I’ve also reinvigorated an idea from March last year — A natural history of insects in 100 limericks might be an unlikely title but it’s been picked up and Pelagic Books (Call of nature, 2017) are publishing it later this summer.

I like the quirky irreverence of the limerick, with its silly subject matter and it’s ability to weather some of the the worst storms of poetic licence. All gravitas can be swept aside and there is a certain charm in the sometimes quite frankly challenging rhyme clashes.

To some extent the book is a vehicle for Calvin’s Line drawings, which he did when he was still 13.

No prizes for guessing that this is a bumblebee.

Calvin and I spent several months tinkering and doodling respectively. And in the end some of the hardest decisions were which ones to leave out. After deciding to make the book just insects it was obvious that the arachnids would hit the cutting room floor.

And anyway, maybe the world’s not quite ready for poems about cannibalism.

A wolf spider carried about,
Her young on her back,there’s no doubt.
But when her strength left,
Her babes weren’t bereft,
They ate her until she was nowt.

Watch this space. And please don’t be too unforgiving in your assessments.

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