"Seventh Plague of Egypt," by Martin, 1823.‘The Pharaoh’s People and the Locusts’ and Other Poetry by John W. L. Toivonen The Society June 29, 2016 Poetry 1 Comment The Pharaoh’s People and the Locusts We had our land covered by the locusts. On every leaf the hungry, magnet mouths drew the food in until we had to shout our harvest is gone, poisoned by the kiss that feeds the hunger of insects that are cursed to follow fate. Our Pharaoh thought to dismiss a magician’s words but he was remiss in his duty to follow a lawful God. He thought that the years and numbers of his state could impose his will but it was the hate spun by the Hebrew’s God not the rod of one warning man he could not abate. Being one proud man, insufficiently awed his land would sink under a ravenous weight. Some Lines on the Passing of a Child’s Sparrow in Imitation of Catullus The passing of a child’s sparrow seems an act of no consequence and yet we adults who have wagered a bet on power must recognize a child’s dreams. For this first clasp of hands on the maternal with its daily feeding and watering commands the small, aerial life to sing and ushers in the material that is life. While all cynics seem to know the whole of life by aggravated counting, they forget that the heavy wind will blow rendering every fortune an earthly fling. Know that on each day a child’s hands sow hope itself in the care of a wing. To the Men Who Know No History To the men who know no history the ivory and gray-skinned statues show only muscles and irritating hues of color that make no modern story. Take a field trip through the garden of stone to see sight itself rudely oppressed by the lines of a perfectly carved breast that cannot move these men like a living bone. They say the endless rendition of lost plays is no more than the mumbling, arcane chorus of vacant spirits that cannot speak to us. So give us some golden-tongued speaker who says give up the gown, murder the anachronist, make a thud of words that static will own. Glory in the rabid spit of one alone who renders in a rhyme a vulgar fist. John W.L. Toivonen’s work has appeared in Roanoke Review, Paterson Literary Review, and Midwest Poetry Review. His most recent book of poetry, Song After a Long Campaign, was published by Great Roots Press in 2015. Views expressed by individual poets and writers on this website and by commenters do not represent the views of the entire Society. The comments section on regular posts is meant to be a place for civil and fruitful discussion. Pseudonyms are discouraged. The individual poet or writer featured in a post has the ability to remove any or all comments by emailing submissions@ classicalpoets.org with the details and under the subject title “Remove Comment.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) One Response Durlabh Singh June 30, 2016 WE HAVE We have swallowed dead leaves In remembrance of pastured past Somewhere in the depths of nights Mourning to survive a dreaded loss. A hand from destiny kept beckoning Approaching slowly avoiding shadows Throwing traps on rocks for the moon Strengthening arms of hazy afternoon. We have swallowed a purple paradise Quenched flames to make frozen eyes Erected fences against sounds of fury All to serve just some chastened lies. Durlabh Singh Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.