The Beetle Horde

By James Valvis

Astounding Stories of Super Science

Astounding Stories of Super Science, January 1930

All we have to fight the beetle horde

is our bare hands.

Fortunately, they are not good boxers in the cold

and we are dressed warmly.

At least the men are

with our thick suits and rubber shoes.

Women walk about in furry hip-length one-pieces,

showing the legs and bare feet

we men find so attractive

when not fist-fighting the beetles.

Ah, the beetles,

this planet's dominant species,

six feet in height when standing upright.

How they loathe us and the junk

we've left everywhere.

Some say their glass eyes are our sins

staring back at us.

Others say we're not from this planet,

and we came within the shiny metal junk,

which is why we wear alien clothing.

Some say we should return to where we came from,

or at least clean up after ourselves,

but others, like me, say this is our home,

and we should be content

for the cave at night is warm, the women willing,

and the beetle-food plentiful.


James Valvis is the author of How To Say Goodbye (Aortic Books, 2011). He has published hundreds of poems in such journals as Anderbo, Arts & Letters, Juked, River Styx, and Verse Daily. His fiction has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, LA Review, and Washington Pastime. He lives near Seattle.

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