When I met Phyllis

16 Aug


Fig leaf Phyllis
sits with Dig
under a fig

Fig leaf Phyllis has nothing but a fig leaf

Phyllis and Dig
have made the leaf
sticky underneath.

Phyllis is livid.

Phyllis’s fig leaf
flits and spins
in swirling winds
flits and spins
spins and flits
falling from …

Fig leaf Phyllis’s
fig leaf is falling from …

the fig tree
Into a limpid civic swimming
pool at Woolloomooloo

Phyllis and Dig are livid.

Fig leaf Phyllis and Dig are tiny
Vividly imagine ~

Fig leaf Phyllis and Dig are Fig Psyllids
sticking underneath
underneath a fig leaf
a fig leaf that is falling
falling into a swimming pool
pool at Woolloomooloo

Fig leaf Phyllis and Dig are LIVID

The Fig Psyllid (Mycopsylla fici) is responsible for periodic defoliation of Moreton Bay Fig trees (Ficus macrophylla). These psyllids are small insects which live in colonies and produce a protective sticky ‘lerp’ or cover, under which they live. The lerp is constructed communally from wax and honeydew excreted by the psyllids as they feed and can be up to 35mm wide. The lerp protects the psyllid from changing weather and from attacks by natural enemies. Given the right conditions, psyllid populations can build up in large numbers, and can be quite damaging.

1 Comment

Posted by on 16 August, 2010 in Photographs, POEMS, poetry


One response to “When I met Phyllis

  1. Lee-Anne Davie

    26 September, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Love Phyllis and Dig!! Thank you for introducing me to ‘Mycopsylia ficis’


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