I’m driving to stand outside my mother’s house

and the radio’s talking
about locusts
blunt heads, big eyes

clouds of hunger,
blizzards

swarms plagues storms

and I wonder,
how heavy is a locust?
a single locust?
skin crisp and shiny
emerging from itself

yellow is such an ugly colour

and the rattle of wings –
how does that sound?
billions of wings, beating
and billions of mouths,
too much,
and all those thin legs,
scratching.

For Brendan at earthweal, who has given us the theme of “Strange World”. It does seem like we are getting down to some pretty fundamental stuff at the moment. Fire and flood and plague and locusts eating East Africa. Things are off kilter, to say the least.