Friday, January 9, 2009

Ant Farm

Long ago George Orwell wrote a marvellous book called Animal Farm in which animals talked and ruled their community. Much more recently I wrote a shorter piece called Ant Farm, another in my series of impending disaster visions...
......Ant Farm
I am an ant
There is no escaping this fact
From birth and long before
I was destined to anthood
How I loved to watch
When I was small
The miraculous activity
Around anthills
And under flagstones
Where they had fashioned
Networks of tunnels
Their determination
And unwavering purpose
Were truly captivating
For hours on end I could lie
Watching as they dragged
The corpse of a beetle back
To the hidden lair
How incredible the discovery
Of hundreds of ant eggs
Lovingly tended to
Little did I know
This was my own schooling
For entrance to the ant farm
And although my brothers and I
Recognized full well the magnificence
Of the intimate and intricate labors
Carried out beneath our eyes
As they went out about their
Multitude of tasks
The fabulous community
At work that never stopped to play
That did not prevent us
From dousing them all
And filling up the tunnels
With lighter fluid
Tossing a lit match
Jumping back as the flames
Rose three feet in the air
Incinerating every living thing
This was their Dresden
This was our Slaughterhouse 5
Was it then so wonderful
That we were driven to burn it down
Knowing we could never re-create it
Knowing we were excluding ourselves
From the garden
What lesson then in that
For my own life today
As I live in the ant hill
And cross my brother ants
As we tread our chosen paths
In the ant farm every day
Carrying out our various missions
Is the initiation by fire
Awaiting us too ?

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