Death’s-head Flockmoth

Deathshead flockmothcontrast

This moth-mouthed shepherd
speaks to his faithful flock
and plants larvae with every word
into that wool-swathed stock.
He lectures them about Hell
while his larvae grow in their fleece,
swarming them with each Biblical tale
until they can find no comfort or peace.
His words eat at them like vermin
hastened by the fear of eternal sleep
which he inspires with every sermon
to corral his cloven-hoofed sheep.
His powdery tongue warns of death
and tells them an ultimatum story,
his flap-fluttering breath
staining with the phrase: “Memento mori.”

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