Reminder by David R. Slavitt


We behold their periodic hyperabundance,

hear it, and fear it . . . the sky thick with locusts,

so many that even the birdsí voracity

is utterly inadequate.  They eat

maybe fifteen percent.  The rest forage,

reproduce, die, and fall to the ground to surfeit

the hunger of rodents and then decompose to enrich

the soil with their burst of nitrogen: the duff


is suddenly what only tender greenhouse plants

ever experience, cosseted, fertilized.

All that ravening, all that copulation

ends up there, in a nutrient flush on the woodland

floor where bellflowers, once every seventeen years,

bloom as they did when they first flourished in Eden.

Back to Archives

David R. Slavitt


© 2005-2008 Per Contra: The International Journal of the Arts, Literature and Ideas