a village bustles happily
and through the lush, a routine rush
of beads and seeds and coffee beans
and dancing in the street.
bright colors, in a colony,
are hung on dried mud walls.

today life is a festival
tomorrow, the locusts will come.

the air was sharp awake before the rising of the sun.
the trees were ghostly silent and
the breeze was ghastly cold.
but the sky, with all eyes on it,
was buzzing.

louder, louder, houses shiver, loudest now, and

Burst!

Ten metal locusts swoop a "V"
Ten blackened forms berate the earth
Ten hungry shells dive down, and down,
Ten thousand souls cry out!

and there is silence-

broken only by
the locusts' fading scream
for all that once was bright and green
is desecrated.

an hour later, maybe
black hawks hover overhead
as if attracted to the blackened dead
slow paced, blank faced, like carrion.

a man descends from one
wearing an exoskeleton.
a mask covers his face so that
he cannot feel compassion
as he steps into the newly sculpted desert.