This poem came out of the August 7, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from ellenmillion and sponsored by the general fund.
The Four Fauna of the Apocalypse
Legends warn of
the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,
but none of them are horses.
Mosquitoes fill the air with their angry whine,
carrying tropical diseases on the warming air.
Some of the mosquitoes are said to be genetically engineered,
or even mechanical, but the news insists those are only stories.
Fire ants build their hills with dust and tiny dinosaur bones,
sometimes three or four queens together in their fierce empires.
Apparently no one told them it was impossible,
and investigation faces formidable opposition.
Alligators submerge themselves in park ponds,
slink into sewers, drift northward like silent logs -- but
these logs have eyes, and they are always watching for a new niche.
A sewer is not so different from a swamp after all.
Emerald ash borers conceal themselves under bark,
hitching a hidden ride in firewood and craft projects.
They chew their way through whole forests, unchecked,
carried by mutters of "nobody will notice a few little sticks."
Myth cloaks the world like fog,
truths and half-truths and falsehoods
wandering lost in the lazy haze after twilight.
Boundaries shift and bend,
bringing forth monsters.