Conservatives in crisis by Judith Taylor

Brexit vote sees highest spike in religious and racial hate crimes ever recorded (Independent, 7th July 2017)

 

Parasite turns wasp into zombie then drills through its head (New Scientist, 25th January 2017)

 

Bassettia pallida – the crypt

gall wasp, as it’s commonly known –

 

is parasitic on oak trees: under its influence

the tree makes hollow galls

 

in which the young of the wasp develop

till they’re ready

 

to eat their way out

and find their prey in the world.

 

But there is a smaller wasp

Euderus set – that manipulates

 

the manipulator. Gall wasps it infects

chew out an exit they’re not ready for;

 

die blocking it. And inside

the Euderus grub

 

whose jaws are rarely tough

enough for oak-bark, eats its host

 

grows strong, and when it senses spring

chews its way out to freedom

 

and other hosts, through a neat hole

in the gall-wasp’s head.

 

Which is where now

– you with the gall – you find yourself:

 

the thing that impelled you flown

free in the world

 

and you here wondering

why you can’t get moving

 

head all empty, jaw

chewing on air

 

working at nothing

but strong and stable.

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