Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Day 12 On the use of better animal metaphors for the human condition.

A lion for a day or a sheep for a year?
What a question to ask.

Are we lion?
Do we hunt prey by chasing it down
to sink our teeth into its neck?
Of our varied myriad acts,
and there can be odd ones,
no matter how hungry,
we never feel this urge.
We are not lion.

Are we sheep?
Do we blindly follow
down whichever way we're led?
Not always.
Too many of us pull back
and question
and complain
and disagree
to be sheep.

So what are we?
Squirrel I say.
As we wander down the supermarket aisles.
our trolleys the cyber extensions of cheeks,
gathering instant fruit and nuts,
in our temple to the ancient ancestral forest
that still whispers in our brain.

Squirrels we are
as we gather and hoard
and stockpile in our treehomes
and save for rainy days.

Lions do not own.
They have teeth and claws
and that is all they need.
So stop thinking you are lion
or tiger
you are not self sufficient.
Or bear or stallion, sheesh.
Or Sheep
but who admits they're sheep?

Squirrels ye be
turning the whole earth
into a complex extension of gathering nuts in the forest
and storing them in a tree trunk.
While surpluses of food and minerals
grow in tree shaped silos,
you'd have thought today
50 years after dancing gracefully on the edge of space
our wonderful race
would have solved the simple problem
of making sure that
everyone had enough nuts.

And it is a simple problem
it really is.
It's not rocket science.
But until we do
let's not pretend we are far far better than the squirrels.
Just more complex
and bigger.
Except for art, art makes us a bit better.
And ok, science and an ability to question ourselves and reason with others.
Well ok we have all that but we don't have bushy tails.

1 comment:

  1. Love it! The Squirrels in Cyber Sainsburys verse is my fave.