The Well-Tempered Entomologist | Series of Poems

The Well-Tempered Entomologist | Series of Poems


Ladybird O Ladybird,

You are somewhat quite absurd,

The way you look we all agree,

You’re neither bird nor a lady.

Completely different than a lady, or a bird


‘The Well-Tempered Entomologist’ is a cycle of twelve songs. Each song is a musical description of a different kind of insect. The songs are miniatures that last around one minute: short, sweet and to the point. The text is inspired by the poetry of Roald Dahl and Spike Milligan and the concept by Bach’s ‘Well-Tempered Clavier’ from which the piece gains its title. Each song is in each of the twelve keys of the Chromatic scale (like Bach’s 48’) gradually ending back where it began. These songs were written to inspire children to write their own versions in a workshop situation. The descriptions that the poems give are not by any means watered down, they are sharp and exact; showing people that our thoughts of what stereotypical insects may be are completely warped by what our teachers told us at school.

The Well-Tempered Entomologist


Running Order

1. Woodworm

2. The Cockroach

3. Spider

4. The Fly

5. Ladybird

6. Pond Skater

7. Praying Mantis

8. Caterpillar

9. Stick Insect

10. Grasshopper

11. Dragonfly

12. Butterfly


Wood Worm

O Lord you have saved me and you know me.

I delight in all of your ways.

That’s what some monks used to sing.

In a temple of long ago days.

Their building was made out of wood,

It degraded by the hour,

One day it fell down,

Debris went through the town,

Who knew wood worms had so much power.


The Cockroach

There is a song sung in Mexico,

So legendary and poetic.

I’ve heard the blinkin’ tune so much

It’s starting to sound pathetic.

This is the reason I wrote my version,

To surpass that song just a little bit.

But let’s be honest for the horrible beast,

Maracas aren’t all that adequate.

…La Cucaracha!!!



There’s a spider climbing up your bed

Look now he is perched up on your head.

In the corner of your eye you see a fang

He won’t bite humans leave a nasty tang


The Fly

Buzzing around, what a flippin’ racket.

Laying eggs on my toast, under my potato’s jacket,

I’d like to see him land on the apples that I’ve rotted.

To bad for him when he comes close I’m sure that he’ll then get squatted.



Ladybird O Ladybird,

You are somewhat quite absurd,

The way you look we all agree,

You’re neither bird nor a lady.

Completely different than a lady, or a bird


Pond Skater

Pond skater, land hater,

Just float about all day

Fish give you a little nip,

Begin your unpleasant trip

Down their gullet as they swim away.


Praying Mantis

The praying mantis, stood still is so serine,

Most eloquent, proud and rather green,

He prays to nature for his food and when he snaps all the while,

Upon his face towards his prey he wears a devilish smile.



Squiggly, squirmy, at the top of a tree

Squelching, he proudly speaks “You can’t see me”

Darling, it’s called camouflage I’m such a clever worm…”

“Ouch, dam those Chameleons; well, I didn’t see that one coming”


Stick Insect

You are just a stick insect

Not a creature that commands respect

Camouflaged well for your protection

From fierce animal a good deflection

The girls, in you find no affection,

Due to your most strange complexion,

So I say without regret

What’s your point o stick insect,

Your just a stick…










Bingo blotter,

….I think I’ve gone of topic.



Is it a bird?…is it a plane?….or is it only superman?…no it’s a dragonfly don’t get

your hopes up.

….quite pretty though…



Butterfly, flutters by, so very high, in 12 days they die…

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