A beetle wanders along one of the planks
that make up the terrace, following the grain,
obeying the laws of perspective,
to that meeting point of disappearance.
An ant seems to have picked up its scent
and follows it along a parallel track –
but then the beetle discovers the beam
below the plank and takes off at right-angles.
Can I read this as illustrating the irrelevance
of man-made rules to the path of life,
or merely as another instance of the haphazard
nature of the very existence of us all?
Richard Martin is an English writer who lives in the Netherlands close to the point where Belgium, Germany and Holland meet. After retiring as a university teacher in Germany, he turned his attention to writing, and has published three collections of poetry and numerous poems in magazines in England, the US, and Austria.