On Contemplating the Beauty of an Animal Skull Picked CleanOr Fifteen Hundred Dermestid Beetles Available on Amazon $49.11 & Free Shipping
The Great Chain of Being
starts with God, ends with dirt.
Beetles rank below the pretty insects,
the ladybugs and the dragonflies,
and beetles rank behind the useful insects,
the spiders and the honeybees.
The lowly dermestid beetle occupies
the unpleasant insect category, which puzzles me.
If cleanliness is next to godliness,
this beetle clean-up crew should get its due.
I, for one, salute these truth tellers,
who scavange the sins of the flesh,
eating all that decay. Getting down
to the beauty of bare bones, you might say.
Driving to Elko on a winter day
storm clouds stacked
from Lone Mountain to the Rubies.
Jesus rays in all directions.
Even the lonely house on Adobe Summit
softened by snow and light.
For a moment, looking down,
you would think the whole damned town
rests upon hallowed ground.
For all I know, and this is true,
a light shines right now on me and on you.
Nancy Harris McLelland taught creative writing, composition, and literature for over twenty years and Conducted writing workshops for the Western Folklife Center, Great Basin College , and the Great Basin Writing Project . An Elko County native with a background in ranching. McLelland has presented her "Poems from Tuscarora" Both at daytime and evening events at the Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko. Her essay, "Border Lands: Cowboy Poetry and the Literary Canon" is in the anthology Cowboy Poetry Matters .