Sunday, April 18, 2010


Throughout my childhood
My father battled the ants,
Ever in the back yard
Pouring poison and acid,
Sump oil and bleach
Down their holes:
When I asked him why
The only reply was “ants”.

He is dead now, our home and garden 
Razed to bare earth
By the dozer and the grader;
Others live where once we did 
In a new house in another garden,
With no thought that once we were there,
While past their toes go 
The ants.

-Larry Buttrose


  1. Great stuff, Larry. When I worked on a sheep station outside Jerilderie. there was this vile powder we used to pour down the holes in the massive claypan nests of big brown ants. It caused the soldier ants from both opposing nests to come out and meet in the middle and tear each other to pieces. It was enduring, silent carnage.

  2. Love the portrait of my former Maths teacher. I would dearly love to pour something unpleasant into his home. As it was, I only put a firecracker in his letterbox.


  3. ...while I used to collect them and watch them in one of those plastic 'ant farms'