Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Grasshoppers

Grasshopper Eating Eggplant Leaf 3008px




Grasshoppers

The grasshopper turns
its liquid opal eye upon the leaf.
Where the eye goes, the bent tripod feet
the grass-shark jaw soon follow.
Where the jaw goes
death dances along
eating alive the tiny green
bodies
down
to

veiny bones
all that celadon succulence
murdered and swallowed
to hatch a hundred
more grasshoppers
begotten only to unbind
each lamina
from petiole
then start 
again.

 There is no end
to the hunger of the grasshopper
staring, staring at the waving
ocean of grass it cannot comprehend
only destroy.



September 2011





Posted for   OpenLinkNight   at dVerse Poets Pub

Join us for 24 hours plus of nonstop poetry sharing, hosted this week by Joe Hesch. Doors open at 3:00 PM EST and link in is live till midnight Wednesday.



Photo by and (c)2008 Derek Ramsey (Ram-Man) (Own Picture.) [GFDL 1.2 (www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html)], via Wikimedia Commons 

55 comments:

  1. and the grasshopper gets tax breaks so they can afford their election campaigns, or just to grease the wheel of one...i used to like grasshoppers...thanks for ruining that...smiles.

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  2. Good one, Joy. Makes me think of the plague pf grasshoppers that sometimes happens on the prairies, covering the land and eating everything in sight. Voracious little critters!

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  3. Having lived through an invasion I sense each word as if etched on my cellular membranes. Apt metaphor for the political, media saturated frenzy we live in. Another evocative, expertly carved write!

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  4. Thanks all. I'm rather upset with the literal ones atm for eating my prize Japanese Maple to the ground, and the metaphorical ones for all the obvious reasons.

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  5. Sure would be nice if Nature -- and Congress -- and the cosmos. fer crissakes -- showed a little more heart for the stuff we love. But the will of grasshoppers is as alien to mine as, say, a Tea Party Republican or, uh, dark energy. You look very closely and intently into this grasshopper (representative all all mindless plagues against the humane), with an eye as coldly precise as its enemy, munch away on a beloved plant. Helps to fully understand your enemies' intent, especially when all the campaign rhetoric starts tooting and blatting on the airwaves. - Brendan

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  6. Really an exceptional write, wonderful layering and metaphor- I like this piece quite a bit, thanks for sharing it

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  7. Yes, one grasshopper now and then is unnoticed so it won't hurt-but when they come in crowds... Oh my- you've said it-I wonder what Shay has to say (for she loves grasshoppers- will she now? ...grin)
    Great write, Joy, you expert! :-)

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  8. If only they could comprehend...

    I'm glad you do. Nicely done Joy.

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  9. indeed an endless hunger that cannot be satiated.

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  10. At least the grasshopper pursues the mission it was apparently created to do. What can our legislators say for themselves? Great poem as always!

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  11. I like your concept hedge - it works on all levels - cuts deep - you have to have feelings to notice though and those egoist self serving droids dont notice much outside their own armani exteriored bullshit - the national razor anyone?

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  12. great metaphor.. speaks the truth. very powerful

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  13. Now that surprise image at the end left me speechless. I love the juxtaposation here.

    ~laurie

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  14. Joy! I loved this...

    The words fit the nature of this little fellow.

    Sharp, succinct, as he was made to be.

    The others? Their gluttonery is unnatural.

    Lady Nyo

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  15. OMGoodness, I loved your prose and pic but then your tags made me giggle out loud. LOL
    Fabulous write.

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  16. An inspired metaphor that works in so many ways. I admire the brevity and the way you have made every syllable contribute to the effect.

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  17. Masterful. I shake at the very thought of Perry - attached to the same puppet strings as "W"..omg where are leaders and men of reason? This year the drought is broader than a void of water and rain. Excellent piece, Joy!

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  18. Substitute Gaia for the ocean of grass
    Substitute us for the grasshoppers

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  19. That grasshopper in the picture had better find something besides eggplant leaf to munch on, or he will meet his buggy little maker pronto. Geroffa my eggplant!

    The second picture, together with the poem, is a strong indictment. And the metaphor is a brilliantly conceived one, executed (so to speak) in true Hedgewitch style. I'm just sad that it IS so topical and dead on.

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  20. He has a penchant for the Aubergine?

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  21. Thanks all. Much appreciate everyone taking the time to comment.

    @Gay: He makes my blood run cold also.

    @Timoteo: Yes, that too.

    @FB I love it when you're protective.

    @G-Man: Stop with the showing off, man. Yeesh. or rather,..Gadzooks, sirrah, halt your obstreperous badinage.

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  22. Like the metaphor.. very powerful.

    These lines are great:

    There is no end
    to the hunger of the grasshopper
    staring, staring at the waving
    ocean of grass it cannot comprehend
    only destroy.

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  23. They eat Japanese Maples? Great, now I really hate grasshoppers. Used to love them as a boy, carried them around in my pocket sometimes when I would catch them without a bait jar to put them in. Now they make me go eeeeeewwwwwww! So did your poem, which means it was pretty realistic..... Thanks for the memories Joy...

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  24. The grasshopper -- the ultimate consumer society. Does not the day of the locust mean jobs for many insects?

    Humphrey Bogart's character in the movie "Key Largo," asks a gangster what he wants, and the gangster says "More." "Will you ever get enough, Rocko?" asks Bogart. The thug has to finally admit that he never will.

    Ours is a life out of balance. In the world that we are making, of all the things you cherish, if the only one that is devoured is a Japanese Maple, you will have real cause to rejoice, I fear...

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  25. i enjoy seeing something from a different perspective, like giant grasshoppers:) this was a lot of fun. i could hear 'em chewing, see 'em coming.

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  26. At both ends there goes the food supply. Unless you grow your own and there is a law against that.
    What next plagues and famine? Too late there is famine in the land. Well Done. The Japanese Maple...is a very significant tree don't ya think? Probably not a duel meaning there but it could be...

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  27. Joy, I love this. The metaphor...powerful.

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  28. Can you imagine the sheer horror of them arriving by the thousands? And, the grasshoppers would probably suck, too.

    Brilliant write, Hedge. It really captures the . . . coldness, the dispassion.

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  29. @MZ Thanks. And if they ever strip Washington of all the green(backs) I'm sure they'll be heading our way...*shudder*

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  30. Voracious appetites indeed - love the imagery and the metaphor

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  31. For me this is a perfectly rendered metaphor. I guiltily admit there are a few creatures that I'm inclined to swat or squish - palmetto bugs in my house, for example. Because the grasshoppers you write about here are so destructive (I imagine biblical scenes of devastation) I feel that urge to crush when I see them.

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  32. Oh! this is sweet poem.. really liked the way your described a grasshopper "bent tripod feet "
    And yes in our world as well.. few humans are no comparison in urge to eat and destroy than the tiny grasshopper :)
    Sweet one.. liked it

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  33. Truly fabulous-- we never know where your muse will take you. Despite the dire message of the poem, it is so very beautifully wrought. xj

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  34. Such a beautiful poem describing such hubris and hypocrisy...ironic really. // Peter.

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  35. I'll never see grasshoppers the same again!

    Excellent metaphor and poem, my friend. Shark-jaws, hmm? I've had other kinds of jaws on my mind . . .

    :-)

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  36. hmmmm.. I confess I like grasshoppers, the little girl still not seeing beyond the magic of their leap, i really enjoyed this poem, a lovely simplicity, a great metaphor for larger creatures me thinks

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  37. An extraordinary write around a very ordinary and much maligned subject :) I love it and the fact that we both used 'opal eye' in our pieces this week...serendipity.

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  38. Metaphorically brilliant, also I really connected with the very visceral tone and the anatomical influences. So many layers in how your present this, really remarkable talent. ~ Rose

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  39. To think such a little guy could do so much damage...

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  40. wow amazing only destroy well guess this one is true and especially for farmers they have had many crops destroyed by them
    http://gatelesspassage.com/2011/09/13/a-new-life-begins/

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  41. awesome metaphor! I'll never look at grasshoppers the same again (smiles)

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  42. ha! Coming up to that final pic, I laughed outloud! Wonderful write, Joy, as always...reminding me why I fear these beasts so! Can you image being swarmed...by either literal or otherwise...my skin is crawling...yuck!

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  43. Oh like how you applied this to Congress and the eating and chopping at whatever is left....seems to never end....bkm

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  44. Dazzling metaphor!

    I wonder though if the grasshoppers have the same capicity to practice such atrocious hyprocrisy.

    enjoyed this very much!

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  45. Thanks all.

    @Ruth--yes imagine jaws are a bit of a 'sore subject' just now. Thanks for reading.

    @Christi: Oh I don't think there's any doubt which is the more up front and honest of the two. ;-)

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  46. I'm not even seeing this poetically, but as a fellow gardener who's lost beautiful babies to ravenous insects. Very nice piece.

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  47. O poesia é insaciável... como o gafanhoto!!!

    AL

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  48. I've never read a poem that made a grasshopper sound so menacing. Great job!

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  49. I always seem to really love your last stanzas, bringing it all together or ending with a bang. And, after reading this both pictures look evil, lol :)

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  50. @A.S. muito obrigado meu (minha) amigo(a)

    @Matt they're rather alien looking creatures at best, and when droves of them congregate and devour all your plants, then frantically jump all over you whenever you go near the now-dead garden, they can be a bit intimidating.

    @lor: well, one is mindlessly evil and the other...actually, maybe the distinction is moot...;-)

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  51. Enjoyed this, especially the quick U-turn at the end with the picture of congress, giving a whole different meaning to devour and destroy. Excellent metaphor!

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  52. Brilliant, i shall never see a grasshopper the same again. Boo about your maple, one of my faves. Even bigger boo, those insects in Washington. Can't they be mantis and lose their heads the next time they mate? Wonderful, socio/biological poem ~

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  53. I shivered at the image. For some reason, grasshoppers and I don't get along in person. I ended up with one in my shirt the other day. It is a good thing that I was out on a country road because the shirt was off before I could look around to see if anyone was watching.

    Love the poem, the presentation appears in two leaf shapes before the final stanza. Very descriptive. Bravo!

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  54. Awesome nature poem. I like the focus on the jaws, brings about immediate awareness that the grasshopper is capable of being a monster, and then follows that it produce and be a destructive force on its environment. I can't help but relate it back upon our own species, no end to our hunger, ever eyeing on what seems to be endless resource of our good earth, not comprehending how we can be (or may be) taking too much. Not sure if that's what you are going for in this poem. :) Enjoyed it very much for the thoughts provoked. Thanks.

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  55. the first stanza was a wonderfully detailed description of a pest i have feared since one jumped into my eye when i was a child.

    the final stanza and bottom photograph gave me shivers.

    very sorry to hear about your Japanese Maple.

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg