Collective Innocence

We chew the old stringy parables
while saintly philosophers smirk,
saying they told us so, here’s payoff
for frivolous ways and foolishness:
Our fields are blighted with poverty,
even the grasshoppers hold back.

No penance ever persists. Look, now
our fields have been sevenfold blessed;
enough for the grasshoppers too.
Philosophers’ teeth grind words
like improvidence, indulgence, poverty -
but this time, we know better.

We have sweet bread on our tables,
grasshoppers chanting in our beds;
the philosophers keep fretting,
but poverty is a fact of life. We scrape,
sow and reap our fields, play
the fiddle too, with impunity.

Jane Røken

If you have any comments on this poem, Jane Røken would be pleased to hear them.