Insects of Mass Destruction

by Martin Elster

Some say assassin bugs, some scorpions,
but in the second century AD,
the Hatrians, as if with magic wands,
forced Severus’ besieging men to flee
with frightful potted bugs hurled at the throng.
One of the oldest types held bees in hives
flung at the enemy, who knew those long
barbed stingers could be nastier than knives.
And then there were the plague-infected fleas,
bred on the blood of prisoners of war,
that Ishii unloosed on the Chinese,
taking four hundred thousand lives or more.
Yet Man, by far the world’s most wicked bug,
shrinks from a spider crawling on the rug.

Martin Elster, author of There’s a Dog in the Heavens! is also a composer and serves as percussionist for the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. His poetry has most recently appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Centrifugal Eye, The Chimaera, The Flea, 14 by 14, Lucid Rhythms, Soundzine, Thema, Verse Wisconsin, Umbrella, and Yankee Dog.

See links to all sonnets by this author

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Pat Jones
Published 2 January 2011