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The Hungry Season
“The next season will be the hungry season.”
Moses M. Kolinmore



A stem, a leaf, a stem,
a stem again,

and the army of our bodies
hanging from the branches
of the Dahoma trees.

We come to this as moths
on Saharan winds

with no malice but the wings’
direction, our caterpillar mouths,
our waiting numbers

cocooned in dirt. We are
aching and glutted

but hungry still, even as
we strip the canopy bare of leaves
and foul each river black

with waste below us –
our gruesome chatter asking,

as we fall into the dirt
to reshape what we are,
can you imagine the hunger?

But of course you can; of course,
you hunger the same as we.
And now we should talk about a plague of sorts...

Nightmarish Caterpillar Swarm Defies Control in Liberia
Karen Lange


They came by the millions out of the forest.

From off in the bush, townspeople at the epicenter of the plague heard a low roar, like the sound of heavy rain cascading down through the leaves. It was caterpillar droppings.

In early January, when the long, black caterpillars reached the creeks that serve as the main water sources for the town of Belefanai in north-central Liberia, the creatures' feces instantly turned streams dark and undrinkable.

Moving through the forest canopy on webs, devouring the leaves as they went, the caterpillars advanced like nothing the townspeople had ever seen.

They ate food and cash crops—coffee, cocoa, citrus, plantain, banana, and cassava. They took over homes and people fled.

Venturing into the forest meant being hit by a wave of caterpillars that appeared to be moving forward about as fast as the average person walks.

"The worms would drop on you from all angles," said Moses M. Kolinmore, a mason who arrived in Belefanai just as townspeople realized they had to get word to the government.

"They would cover the whole ground—thousands upon thousands of thick, strong, stubborn worms. It was fearful, very fearful."


You can read all about that here [link] at National Geographic.com

Dave Prisk
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Daily Deviation

Given 2013-01-16
The Hungry Season by *b1gfan ( Suggested by leyghan and Featured by thorns )
:iconzee-who:
Zee-Who Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Hobbyist
Congrats on your Daily Deviation!:squee::heart:
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:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Student Writer
Thank you so much Cătălin. I appreciate both your enthusiasm and your kindness my friend :)
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:iconforbiddenobsession:
ForbiddenObsession Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013
beautiful and haunting, your poem sees right into the soul of every animal, from caterpillars to whales to humans. stark, creepy, and perfect O3O
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:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Student Writer
:giggle: Thank you Bri. That is wonderful feedback indeed and you are very kind to offer it. :D
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:iconsarienfhaine:
SarienFhaine Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013
Really great writing :) Love the poem and the way you wrote it from the information below. Cool!
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:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Student Writer
I am beyond delighted that you enjoyed it Sarien :D Lotsa love to you for taking to time to read and respond to the piece :hug:
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:iconsarienfhaine:
SarienFhaine Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013
Hey no problem :) It was a very good poem :D
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:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Student Writer
And you are a very good reader ;)
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:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013   Writer
*it
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:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013   Writer
:+fav: You took information and turned inside out, so nonexperts would perhaps sympathesize not only with townspeople, but also with your protagonists. A terrific job, all the way around. Congratulations on the DD. Thank you.
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:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Student Writer
Thank you LJ. I appreciate the generous gift of your time, not only in reading but in responding so thoughtfully to the piece. You honor me! :handshake:
Reply
:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013   Writer
You deserve it, Dave -- and more. I appreciate your work. :iconsecrethandshakeplz:
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:iconlancelotprice:
LancelotPrice Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013
Congratulations on the DD. :)
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:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Student Writer
Thank you good Sir. It's always best to have a knight in one's corner, so it is I who thank you :)
Reply
:iconlancelotprice:
LancelotPrice Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013
:)
Reply
:iconjade-pandora:
jade-pandora Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013
omgosh, Dave -- congratulations! :hug:
I knew I was right to wish I had written this - it's an amazing example to all of your skillful wordcraft & compassion!
Reply
:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Student Writer
Awwww Jade. You are the very soul and breath all that's right with this world, you know that. Big hugs (and even bigger thanks) for you!!
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:iconjade-pandora:
jade-pandora Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013
*warmest blushes back at you* oh gosh thank you so very much, Dave!
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:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Student Writer
:D
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:iconthetaoofchaos:
thetaoofchaos Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013   Writer
Powerful verse, here. Congrats!
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:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Student Writer
You are too kind Shane. Thank you for that :)
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:iconlintu47:
lintu47 Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Congrats on the well deserved DD! :dalove:
Have a nice day! :heart:
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:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Student Writer
Thank you very very much Christina :D That's very kind of you. Thank you for taking the time to read it :)
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:iconlintu47:
lintu47 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
My pleasure, i find your poem so powerful that it gives me goose bumps. That's not very poetic or thoughtful of me to say, but i think it says more than an elevate comment about the verse and choice of words. Congrats once again! :happybounce:
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:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Student Writer
:D Goosebumps are good. I like to know about goosebumps :D :heart: :icontardbounceplz:
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:iconbrassteeth:
brassteeth Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013
Really Nice work. Congratulations on your D.D!
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:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Student Writer
Thank you very much Christopher :highfive:
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:iconbrassteeth:
brassteeth Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013
My Pleasure. Nice one.
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:iconleyghan:
leyghan Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Oh my. This is stunningly good. Your fantastic word choices make for such vivid imagery. I'm so happy I read this. :heart:
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:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Student Writer
:glomp: Thank you my friend. It's so so very kind of you to say that. :D
Reply
:iconjade-pandora:
jade-pandora Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2012
Your wonderful words are featured here: [link]
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:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Student Writer
Oh my! You are a beautiful and generous friend :) Thank goodness for hearts like yours :hug:
Reply
:iconjade-pandora:
jade-pandora Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012
You bring happy tears to my eyes, dear! :hug:
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:iconhalcyonshores:
halcyonshores Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Outstanding work.. :thumbsup:
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:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2011  Student Writer
Thank you very much for taking the time to read the piece, and thanks as well for the generous :+fav: Your rock my friend :D
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:iconhalcyonshores:
halcyonshores Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
You are most welcome :)
It was a pleasure.
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:iconchadwood:
chadwood Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2011   Writer
Fantastic work, here :). I get the Libyan landscape in my mind.
Reply
:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2011  Student Writer
Many thanks Chad, many many thanks.
Reply
:iconmistress-phoenix:
Mistress-Phoenix Featured By Owner May 20, 2010   Writer
Another excellent example of your craft. One particular line---"We come to this as moths
on Saharan winds"---is brilliant and one of those lines that sticks with the reader as they go through the story. The subject matter gives me the chills and I like how you distracted, a little, from the horror of having those worms take over, by personifying them a little.

Very interesting.
Reply
:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner May 20, 2010  Student Writer
The event caught my attention when I first heard about it because the lil caterpillars were just so innocent for the most part, just being themselves with no real malice in mind. And, while so innocuous when seen one at a time, they have such tremendous creep appeal when there and hundreds of thousands of them all at once. In more ways than one they reminded me of people... :D

Thanks so much for reading and responding with such deliberation to the poem :hug: I really appreciate it.
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:iconmistress-phoenix:
Mistress-Phoenix Featured By Owner May 20, 2010   Writer
I'm looking forward to seeing more of your work :)
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:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner May 20, 2010  Student Writer
:) Well I'll try to produce some :) And thank you for the llama. :hug:
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:iconmsklystron:
msklystron Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
You describe the caterpillars' position very well. I like the use of 'we'. Somehow the idea of falling to the dirt to reshape themselves sticks in my mind and strikes me as meaningful.

The menace they cause reminds me of the stories of locusts. This is a natural cycle of bounty for the caterpillars. The droppings foul the water for all other creatures. Not just humans (as implied by the man interviewed). Birds, bugs and mammals must drink from that river too. I wonder if they have to find new homes as well.:/
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:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2009  Student Writer
I loved the way this story unfolded in my head - each of us just as hungry as the caterpillars. All of us soiling the world because we ache so to continue on with our lives just as they are - all of us in competition really, for better or worse.

I am really pleased to know you enjoy the poem my friend :hug:
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:iconmsklystron:
msklystron Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Humans are the plague in a way. But at least we leave behind shining jewels of poetry among the dung.:)

I enjoyed it very much. I especially liked the hint of the human capacity to remake/shape itself (in the dirt).
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:iconbluestwaves:
BluestWaves Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2009
wow... beautiful. At first I thought you were using complicated metaphors.... wonderful xD
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:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2009  Student Writer
Thank you my wavy friend :D That is ever so kind of you to say :hug:
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:iconlhpoetry:
lhpoetry Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2009
I like...though...maybe include a piece of the article at the beginning? Or just do a more straight-forward description of the what. Cuz I feel like without the article it was interesting...but not apocalyptic.
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:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2009  Student Writer
Thank you James :) I appreciate the feedback.
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:iconstarfire20:
StarFire20 Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2009  Hobbyist Artist
I really like this! It is awsome, cant wait to read moreof your stuff!
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