“Food Chain”…..

hardscrabble hearts

This poem will upset people and it should.  What happened has traumatized my neighbors, who witnessed this.  I am glad I have such neighbors who have gone through war and other horrors of life and can still be so moved.  A slice of life in the urban centers of our nation.

Lady Nyo



Are we really

At the top of the food chain

Or is this the conceit

Of humanity

Hit over the head with the Bible

And the further conceit

That Mankind has

Dominion Over the Earth?

I see a bit of a food chain,

But it blurs when reality comes close.


The Coroner dragged a body bag

Out of the woods and over the rocks.

A homeless man died in those woods

The fox and worms and who knows  what else

 Had at him, so he was light as a feather,

Inconsequential, probably never more

In the eyes of most while he breathed.

He must have been.

It took only one man to drag

Him like so much garbage

To the van in the street,

Bumping him over the pavement.

(I’ve seen dead dogs treated with

More respect.)

So….the food chain

Gets blurred, confused

In the light of actual life.

And those who say  we are the wisest

The most intelligent,

The most  evolved…

Still allow their species to die in the cold,

To rot yards from  warm houses

To be fed upon by wildlife

Who are waiting for our stupid mistakes

To reveal the real food chain existing

Right under our noses.

 Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2014

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6 Responses to ““Food Chain”…..”

  1. Steve Says:

    The man probably froze to death. He probably had no family or friends that cared so he just laid down to die. God didn’t give man dominion over animals to butcher them or hunt them out of existence or to put through terrible abuse. When God gave man “dominion” I think he meant to tame the animals to live side buy side with with Man.


  2. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Steve, perhaps to tame Mankind to live side by side with the animals…all the other species.

    Thanks, Steve, for reading and your insightful comment.

    Police said it was a homocide on the scene, but how could you know? He was decomposing. Short of a bullet and an autopsy, there isn’t really any way to tell cause of death. There were two homeless guys back there for years….burning railroad ties, creasote, we complained to police and firedept. but they were one step ahead of these dept. and disappeared. Some days, mornings, the smell of what they were burning (probably wires they stole from houses that were on the market or boarded up…) was so strong you dare not take a deep breath.

    I agree…with 6 degree weather two weeks ago, he probably froze to death…plus alcohol numbs drunks to the weather.

    Hugs, Jane


  3. TR Says:

    This is heart breaking to have happened. Hugs


  4. ladynyo Says:

    Yes, and all too common.

    Hugs back, Jane


  5. Caliban's Sister Says:

    so very sad. I can only imagine the depth of his loneliness.


  6. ladynyo Says:

    Hi CS, yep, you got it….loneliness is at the heart of the matter…There are other factors, such as alcoholism, mental illness, but at the core of it all? Everyone of us is alone, and our society doesn’t respond in many cases to these things..they are too foreign, alien, upsetting of the usual flow and ebb of our lives. I floated this poem around this n’hood, and with the exception of one person, Steve, it was shunned, ignored. So much for the compassion of liberals. My neighbors, who are not wealthy, educated people felt the loss directily and without hesitation. Genuine compassion.



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