Antipathy

Ants follow the leader.
Drawn inexplicably forward,
one by one,
in search of sustenance.
With six legs and segments.
They are cold blooded creatures 
so very different from me.

How easy it is to step on them,
To wipe them away from my benchtop
Their stature so tiny,
they are easy not to notice.
Their mission unimportant
as far as people are concerned

I wonder what the view is like 
when they are so close to the ground.
After all, we are nothing like ants.
People have important things to do.
Busy lives of purpose
following each other,
one by one,
In our cars.

From people's elevated position 
our perspective should be wide,
expansive,
filled with hope.
But it isn't.
Our view is marred by a haze of cortisol and petrol,
our isolation palpable.
Warm blooded bodies
chasing, not sustenance, 
but cold, hard, cash

Today I sat in a line of traffic
and felt like an ant.
Drawn forward inexplicably
as I fought the desire to pull over,
to kick off my shoes and fling myself upon the grass,
To enjoy the spectacle of summer's warm breath making palm fronds dance lazily against a blue sky.

Today the ant sat on a palm frond,
having hauled his tiny body
high above the earth.
From his vantage point he watched the people
inch their coloured, metal boxes
painfully slowly toward a concrete jungle.
One by one,
they followed the leader
Up an endless black road.

The ant wondered -
why do they persist every day?
What could be so important?

He could not imagine living
a life removed from the earth and the sky.
He could not imagine being without 
a sense of serving something much bigger than himself.
He might have been tiny,
Insignificant to some.
But perhaps he was lucky to be,
free.
And a cold blooded creature 
so very different from me.

Sadness ►

Comments

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Kate G

Sat 24th Aug 2019 22:18

Thank you John, what a beautiful quote.

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John Marks

Sat 24th Aug 2019 21:40

When old words die out on the tongue, new melodies break forth from the heart; and where the old tracks are lost, new country is revealed with its wonders.

Rabindranath Tagore

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Kate G

Sat 24th Aug 2019 09:42

Hi all, thanks for the warm response. I loved your poem afishamongmany and could relate to your story MC. Lisa, I agree, ants are amazing little critters. ?

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Lisa C Bassignani

Fri 23rd Aug 2019 23:01

There are more ants on Earth at this time then there ever were people. They are truly amazing creatures. Every ant has it's job and does it to perfection....to the end.

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Jason Bayliss

Fri 23rd Aug 2019 22:11

It's a strange thing indeed that on the whole we humans think that going wherever we're going to in our little metal boxes is more important than kicking your shoes off and laying in the grass.
This is almost never true.
Great poem.

J. x

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afishamongmany

Fri 23rd Aug 2019 21:03

Hi Kate G - I wrote this some years back and think it complements well your philosophical musings on our six legged friends.

On Observing Ants

Disturbed they scurry about,
Searching for the safety of darkness.
Their world is no longer what they want it to be.
But they continue to touch antennae
And carry eggs.
Maybe the one who has disheveled their world
Is not malicious but sympathetic?
Even so how can there not be resentment?

Go well
><>

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M.C. Newberry

Fri 23rd Aug 2019 16:37

The theme interests me because in my second floor (UK measurement) flat of this Georgian building, I have regular visits
from ants, marching to and fro from the window frame and seen
scurrying apparently aimlessly around various sink tops. At one
time they gathered in great numbers beneath my telephone and
I felt obliged to take action to get rid of them - arbitrary and deadly.
But then no one should abuse their welcome! On another
occasion I planted a jeweller's eye-glass in my own eye and saw
one pop into impressive magnified focus...like some sci-fi film
creature on steroids!! It reminded me how easy it is to forget that
lifeforms can exist beyond our own limited human capacity to "see".
Occasionally I spray an anti-insect deterrent in various places if
they start getting pesky again - but otherwise I'm content to live and let live.

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Adam Rabinowitz

Fri 23rd Aug 2019 15:40

To enjoy the spectacle of summer's warm breath making palm fronds dance lazily against a blue sky

Really enjoyed the poem, this line especially.

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Don Matthews

Fri 23rd Aug 2019 15:09

Poetry we've all missed Kate...

I really liked this. The rhyme in last few lines was a nice finish, intended or otherwise.

I'm lucky I'm not like you Kate
(I'm male, which makes good start)
I don't sit in long traffic lines
(I'm smart, use public transport...)

Also retired. Watch other sillies who don't take pub trans

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