A Catechization of Locusts

by Roger Biehn

What his fellows have said
he will repeat;
he knows
what all the locusts know,
what they have said
in crowd to be true,
to support himself he can cite
the whirring shroud
wings upon wings
of chat,
knowledge fused within
sun-scorched mimicry
and gilded breezes;
how he is blown
before the windless sky,
covers the cloudless sun,
is nothing like a cog
in a shroud of no cogs,
the unknit death veil;
to grip the ground
and shake shake shake
down wheat, corn, barley
to eat eat eat
to the scorch the trees
and every grazing land,
all this upon certain proof.
Brothers ought not
to be locusts, he nods,
but the fields, the ridges,
the plains, the forests
lay just as bare.

We convened and listened with consideration hour and hour
and hour to multiplied offenses, and acknowledged with sober
approbation the appropriateness of the issues being raised,
and reassured in our sincere desire to address our shared concerns
but not yet has he stopped

crawling the ground,
climbing the stalks,
craving the leaves,
planting nothing but
the seed
of the yearly locust.


Roger Biehn is a corporate controller and part-time poet.


Photography by Kenneth Godoy

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