King, Kith & Kin

The ant was unusually solitary
Working the days away
Building a mound deep underground
A palace for one ant living his way
It was the nicest hill in the hillside
Best of all it was just for him
He filled it with sweets, high value treats
He needed no queen, he was king

Time stole by and the ant looked on
As his neighbours toiled all day
Marvelling at his cleverness
in building a mansion for one ant to stay
No duties for sisters or brothers
Only a care for himself on this Earth
No more grind and graft on an overworked staff
He’d built an empire for all he was worth

Time stole by and the ant looked on
At his neighbours’ humdrum life
As they toiled away in the heat of the day
Against an endless tide of strife
Yet he also noticed devotion
The ants’ love burning bright from within
He felt a pang of loss, 
for such affection
had never been shown to him

As he watched the common community
Between the collective of kith and kin
He found Kingship of his hill meant little
When there was no one to share it with him

Time stole by and an emptiness
Settled deep into his heart
He’d achieved everything he’d aimed for
But he’d striven wrong from the start
A yearning took root in the deepest of depths
Down within his soul
He ached to connect with the colony
To be a small part of the whole

One day a young ant from the hill got lost
and she came across his home
The king’s cries of despair elicited care 
as she told him,
You’re never alone.
You are always one of many,
You’re just tuned to the wrong frequency
Her antennae touched his, ever so lightly
And all at once he could see

As the world before him exploded
in a nuance of sense and smell
he felt connection and kinship to colony
exploding in every cell
He thanked the young ant and together
They returned to the neighbouring nest
Toiling in deep communion
King no more, yet his soul was at rest.

Photo by Poranimm Athithawatthee on

I love writing these anthropomorphic verses for Sunday rhyme time. I see a creature, feel an affinity with it and a story springs up around it.

I also like to do a little digging into the background of my subjects. Apparently there are no king ants, only queens. Most ants in a colony are female, the males live to mate with the queen and shortly after fulfilling their purpose they die. Nature can be brutal.

I’ve got some ants lodging with me at the moment. They’re bunking down in the living room where we watch a bit of Gilmore Girls together. They seem to be thriving on a diet of biscuit and cake crumbs. As much as I enjoy their company, I’m hoping they’ll move on to more suitable premises once the weather gets a bit warmer. If not, I’ll have to give them their marching orders.

Challenge time: try saying anthropomorphise three times fast. I can barely say it once, which is a bit of a bugger when I’m trying to explain my poetry to people:

People: ‘So, what kind of poetry do you write?’

Me: ‘Mostly nature poems, where I anthro…anthro…anthropomor…po…mor…po….[defeated sigh] I give human characteristics to animals and insects.’

8 thoughts on “King, Kith & Kin

  1. I tried to say it 3 times… not sure how to pronounce it though.
    Felt sorry for the lonely ant and love that he was shown the way in the end. You write so beautifully and it’s so relatable Rae.

    Liked by 1 person

    • With great difficulty is how it’s pronounced! Everyone has at least one word they can’t say
      & that seems to be one of mine (& now also yours😂)

      Thanks lovely, so glad you enjoyed it. I wasn’t sure where he was going but I’m also glad he found his way back to the fold xxx


  2. Such a great message, Rae, and beautifully told. We all need community to thrive; we need each other. Thanks for the reminder. Sometimes introverts (like me) forget this truth until we notice our loneliness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Melanie 😊

      Similar to you, I sometimes think I’m fine in my own little bubble, until I realise how much even a smile and a small exchange with someone in the street lifts me up, as you rightly said we all need each other.

      Hope you had a nice time away with your family.


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