This poem is taken from Stand 223, 17(3) September - November 2019.

Kate Wakeling Poem
Grasshopper as Partially Phantasmal Creature

Over a quarter of European grasshopper, cricket and bush cricket species are being driven to extinction by unsustainable agricultural practices and the growing frequency of wildfires — International Union for Conservation of Nature, February 2017

Grasshopper performs a theatrical ‘wing flash’ to startle predators.

Grasshopper may be called Usambara Splendid Grasshopper or Usambara Slant-Faced Grasshopper.

Grasshopper may be called Crimson-Browed Fury Grasshopper or Exhausted with the Sallow Futility of the Scrimmage Grasshopper.

Grasshopper comes equipped with ears on its belly.

Grasshopper upholds complex folklore that centres on a prancing exoskeleton silhouetted against the moon and believed to be an unreliable harbinger of tenderness.

Grasshopper comes equipped with two sensory palps at the front of its jaws.

Grasshopper comes equipped with two slender hands with which it performs a slow handclap on sighting inefficient groundwater irrigation.

Grasshopper is among the oldest of all chewing herbivore insects.

Grasshopper waves a translucent flag painstakingly embroidered with grasshopper swearwords to commemorate recently-extinguished kin.

Grasshopper makes a distinct sound by rubbing its legs against its wings.

Grasshopper sings a solemn hymn composed only of the most consoling vowels.

Grasshopper may gather with grasshopper comrades and form a swirling cloud that devours crops, executive leatherware and any number of canonic texts.

Grasshopper may change colour when cold.

Grasshopper readily inhabits human dreams where it thrashes its spiny body up and up and up against the careless surface of thought.  
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