Poetry | We Are Conflicted Beings

We Are Conflicted Beings

© 2017 Vernon Miles Kerr

Viewed from afar, our Earth must appear

As an anthill run amok.

Swarming but disorganized,

Moving in a vague direction but with scattered knots

And lumps of deadly struggle raging,

Sparked by some inferred self-interest,

As the dis-interested hive-general flows around them.

Viewed from afar, our race must appear

As scattered, vast flocks of sheep without a shepherd,

Most bleating submissively,

But with the loudest, largest, most horn-endowed bleater

Leading the way—while the least of all bleaters

Or the out-of-sync bleaters—or those who refuse to bleat,

Are pushed to the edge,

So that Justice, with her quiver of elements and predators,

Can work her blind, emotionless magic

And return the flock to conformity.

But unlike sheep, each in these flocks harbors secret demons

Who whisper treasonous thoughts of self-worth,

Ideas of individual purpose,

Agonizing temptations to veer off.

“But the eyes of the flock are on me.

Without their support I am lost. I’d better bleat.”

So most bleat in sync, and follow the flow

Whether it leads to greener pastures,

Or a lemming’s leap.