Thursday, April 24, 2014

Our Wonderful World.24

Details of my Poetry Month Project can be found here.

24. The Amazon Rain Forest

Leaf Cutter Ants


Ant agriculturalists
harvest leaf bits,
feeding them to fungus,
growing their food source.

But there's more.

The fungus needs the ants.
Mold threatens the fungus,
so worker ants wear 
a coat of bacteria --
living antibiotics that protect their food.

But there's more.

The rainforest needs the ants
who prune vegetation
which stimulates growth;
who break down leaves
which renews the soil.

But there's more.

The earth needs the rainforest.
The green, 
jewel of biodiversity
which holds keys to the balance
of life on earth.
Keys that may be lost 
before we even know how much we need them.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Some aurora poems from yesterday:

Carol's at Carol's Corner

Catherine's at Reading to the Core

Margaret's (Reflections on the Teche) can be found in yesterday's comments.

Kevin's Amazon poem is here.


  1. This needs to be a picture book! NOW! It's gorgeous!

  2. You went with science today. Not me.

  3. I agree with Carol about the picture book, the repetitive message echoes and lends itself to reading aloud.

  4. Thank you for the compliment, Carol and Margaret.

    I had to take Chris Lehman's advice for the Amazon because it's so darn big -- I had to pick a tiny slice to focus on, and it turned out that was the leaf-cutter ants. I watched the video I linked above and got totally fascinated with what scientists have discovered about the ants, the fungus they farm, and the bacteria they carry that keeps the mold at bay. There's even more than I could put in the poem. The mold evolves to become resistant to the antibiotic bacteria, and it counter-evolves to keep being effective against the mold. AMAZING!!

  5. Fourteen hours at school today. Not many words left.


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