“Food Chain”

My beautiful picture

To the East at morning

OLN  (Open Link Night) at dversepoets.com is always an interesting read of poetry.  No prompts, the poets pick what they will post there. That’s Thursday, after 3pm.



Are we really
At the top of the food chain
Or is this the conceit
Of humanity
Hit over the head with theology
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.

Yesterday, 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 unknown things
Had at him.

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,

knocking his bones against the curb.

So….the food chain
Gets blurred, confused
In the light of actual life.
And those who say that we are the wisest
The most intelligent–
Still allow their species to die in the cold,
To rot yards from their warm houses
To be fed upon by wildlife
Who are waiting for our stupidity
To reveal the real food chain that exists
Under our noses.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2018




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23 Responses to ““Food Chain””

  1. Frank Hubeny Says:

    Plants seem to dominate on Earth by quantity if nothing else. I hear they are also intelligent. They know which seed came from them and move their roots out of the way to help it grow. We have our place and our own dignity in all of this, but we usually downplay the other species. Nice presentation of the story about the man dragged out of the woods especially the stanza of him being light as a feather.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ladynyo Says:

    I wish I could say that this poem is a product of imagination, but it isn’t. It happened two years ago. Behind our house and property in the woods. I think insects have domination of the Earth, Frank. They are still discovering bugs without category….for some reason that makes me joyful. Thank you, Frank, for reading and your insightful comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ladynyo Says:

    Oh…a few years ago I read that trees have a brain….and they talk to each other and do other amazing stuff. And plants set up an alarm when someone is stomping on them or picking them. Right now….I don’t know what to eat! Meat is mostly coming off the menu, and if plants, lettuce, arugula, tomatoes are plotting I do’t know what now to eat. Nuts? Fruit? Tell me that mushrooms are placid and agreeable to being sautéed. Please. And please don’t tell me that water has a complaint.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sherry Blue sky Says:

    Wow, i cant believe his body was treated with such disrespect. Horrible. Very well written, Jane.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ladynyo Says:

    I didn’t see it, but my neighbor did. What was upsetting to me further, was the man was white and some of my more backward black neighbors just dismissed him…because he was white. Callous attitude. I wondered how they would have responded if he had been black? The main person that expressed such disregard for this dead man was a former crack addict who ‘found religion’. I can only think that his mentality is screwed by the years and decades he was stealing from our neighborhood, doing crack and other drugs. It’s interesting. Now that our neighborhood is ‘found’ by young, white couples who want to live ‘intown’ (we are 3 miles from downtown Atlanta) there is a lot of resentment by blacks (and the black leadership in City Hall) about these folk coming into ‘their’ neighborhoods. Tough. They can learn that they are not the center of the world. My cats are.


  6. Frank Hubeny Says:

    I don’t think plants are harmed by being eaten. Some provide abundant fruit to encourage moving their seeds around. The abundance of seeds and their regrowth suggests they might expect and want us to relate to them in that way. In return we care and plant them..

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ladynyo Says:

    I like that idea, Frank. Birds and animals poop out their seeds and re-establish new plants. With indoor plumbing the game has changed. though I can’t see them not cowering when we come with our shears, axes.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. kanzensakura Says:

    A powerful poem Jane. Good to see you over here. I am posting at Real Toads, 30 in 30. After awhile, the police and such see so many bodies, they have to treat them callously….it is survival on their part. And after all, it’s just another homeless man….

    Liked by 1 person

  9. ladynyo Says:

    Yes….they become callous. But this was the Coroner’s office. You are so brave, Toni. Real Toads make my stomach ache. LOL! I’ll be over later, I’m tearing down an old tool shed. We put up the prefab one 6 inches too close to the old one and can’t get the roof on. LOL! So we have to rip down the old one before we can finish the new one. LOL! Bad planning all over. Hugs from here.


  10. sanaarizvi Says:

    Its unbelievable how inhumanely he was left at the mercy of creatures in the woods.. tragic 😥

    Liked by 1 person

  11. ladynyo Says:

    Yes, and also how inhumane my neighbors saw him. Speaks volumes about them. Thank you, Sanaarizvi. My hope for civilization rests in the compassionate folk.


  12. Grace Says:

    That is the sad reality of the homeless and forgotten ones ~ You asked some tough questions there about the food chain ~ While we are the top, we are also vulnerable and can be sliding down the line ~

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Truedessa Says:

    This is so sad, but it is a reality in the world today. His journey was a hard one.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) Says:

    I wonder too sometimes… the human superiority is not possible to claim unless we are on a moral higher ground… the ties to the food chain is brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. ladynyo Says:

    Bjorn, thank you. Such a sad thing to happen and it happens so much.


  16. ladynyo Says:

    It was, and die alone in mid winter? the saddest of events. Thank you, Truedessa.


  17. ladynyo Says:

    I think about the amount of insects, of other species that we are in direct contact with. Viruses, etc. Yes, we are vulnerable and sliding down the line…Very well put, Grace.


  18. hypercryptical Says:

    Your words sent a chill down my spine, left me feeling uneasy.
    We are not very nice are we Jane, so blighted by conceit and self-interest that we miss or chose to miss the plight of others, others we think lesser mortals than we.
    Maybe one day we might rediscover compassion, maybe – but I doubt it…
    Anna :o]

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Beverly Crawford Says:

    The careless disdain for life seems to permeate all big cities of late. I’ve taken to avoiding the morning news and specifics of who got shot today. Your poem has so man points well taken.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Beverly. I’ve done the same. I hate to turn on the news in the morning and get the breakins/home invasions/car jackings, etc. with my eggs.. Not to mention the violence in communities where it is standard for young teens to kill each other. Over what? I believe that drugs fuel this violence. This last offense of this homeless man was just…the worst. It’s also a mentality behind the dismissal.


  21. ladynyo Says:

    Yup, Anna. I agree. We aren’t very nice. And though we claim to be a ‘classless’ society, we damn well are. Classes, tribes, castes, etc. And these people like the homeless man is not even worth our hand.


  22. Mish Says:

    Profound and powerful. These lines really hit me….
    “He was light as a feather / Inconsequential, probably never more/
    In the eyes of most while he breathed.” We may be intelligent in the “chain” of things but we have not evolved enough socially and emotionally if we treat others this way.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. ladynyo Says:

    And we do threat others like this. The callousness of neighbors really shocked me, but then again,…..so it goes. Thank you, Mish for reading and your comment.


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