The Ladybird

The ladybird emerged from her pupa
She’d awaited this day for so long
The day she would finally take her place
In the family to which she belonged

Four stages of transformation
Had paved the way for this day
Egg into larva
larva to pupa
Now her spots were on their way

She came from an eight-spot family
Her mum and her grandma and all those before
Had shiny black spots
four for each wing
She expected no less and no more

With growing anticipation
She emerged from her shiny shell
Searching for spots 
where she saw they were not
She started to wonder if all was well

Her mum told her not to worry
What will be will be in its own good time
Spots or not you are truly a wonder
Never question the divine in your design

Time went by and the ladybird’s shell
Turned from orange to deepest red
But not a spot was got 
whether she liked it or not
Dread faded away to acceptance instead

But it hurt that the other ladybirds
Always gave her the widest of berths
With no spots to denote her family
It was like they could not see her worth

But the ladybird held her mother’s words
Cherished them close to her heart as she grew
She was made by design of the lady divine
To trust in the path was all she could do

As the ladybird learned to accept herself
So the others accepted her too
For it turns out she had a way with words
That helped them to see their way through

This gift, passed down from her mother
mattered more than the patterns displayed outside
She could see to the heart of others
Past the spots where so many would hide

The ladybird spread a little peace in her corner
Helped others find the insight inside
Now each lady walks the path of her own inner truth
Allowing her wisdom, not spots, to guide

Cycloneda sanguinea (spotless ladybird beetle) is a species of beetle in the ladybird family.

Photo by Emanuel Rodru00edguez on

Welcome back to Sunday rhyme time, it seems like months since we’ve been here but it’s only been four weeks, time has a nature all of its own.

The ladybird was very insistent she be featured in Sunday rhyme time. I first encountered her in a garden, busying herself on the leaves, then she came to visit me a couple of times in my home. When I still hadn’t written about her, she found her way into my hair in a shop full of fantastical wonders in the city of York. I admire her persistence and I’ve enjoyed her journey in this poem, I hope you did too.

I just wanted to add that I’m not completely out of touch with reality. I realise all of these ladybirds were different, and that it’s not improbable that I should encounter so many ladybirds in a short space of time during the Spring (even in a busy city centre). I’m aware that I was the one taking notice of the ladybirds, that if I hadn’t been noticing them perhaps I wouldn’t have seen so many, and that I’m the one who imbued them with the meaning that a ladybird should be the subject of my next poem.

Yet if I had looked past the ladybirds, if I had not given meaning to our encounters, if I had ignored the flash of inspiration that told me I should write about them, then I would not have written this poem.

We create the meaning, but from that meaning we create. I think that’s pretty powerful.

6 thoughts on “The Ladybird

  1. I really love this, Rae! It’s a beautiful message: Never question the divine in your design.
    Ladybird has been a messenger of hope and healing for me as well. (Once, in the dead of winter, I was doing a yoga ladybird pose that I made up, and I opened my eyes to see a ladybird on my yoga mat! And when I was in bed with Covid, a ladybird entertained me by crawling all over the inside of my windows and settled somewhere in my Geraniums.)
    I also love, “We create the meaning and from the meaning we create.” Brilliant.
    Also I had just read Mary Oliver’s “”Wild Geese” when your poem floated in. I love synchronicity!
    Thank you for your lovely gift and offering.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for your kind comments Melanie, I love that ladybirds are special to you too, amazing that one joined you in a namesake pose on your mat!

      I’d never read Wild Geese but looked it up and now I’ve read it at least five times, it’s beautiful ❤️

      I wrote a poem about geese once and they feature in my crew of animal friends, to me they speak of a need for solitude.

      I don’t know where the line about meaning came from, but as soon as I wrote it I knew it was true, funny how that happens sometimes!

      Hope all is well with you and thanks again for your lovely words.


  2. “We create the meaning,but from the meaning we create”. You’re so right Rae, it is powerful.
    And, why can I let a ladybird land on me and be fascinated by it, but will quickly brush off a spider or black beetle !! Are we just drawn to things that are “pretty” in life ? Same with butterflies and moths. Anyway, I really enjoyed your poem xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks lovely 😊

      I know it’s funny how we can let some insects be but are creeped out by other creep crawlies! I think we’re socialised into it through culture, books, parents etc.

      My son likes woodlouse, I like them too & have never shown any fear of them, he picks them up and takes them outside at my Mum’s, but as you know she can’t stand them! I’m sure there are people out there who love spiders too 😂


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