The White Swans

[poem   by Sha’Tara]

Autumnal flocks of white swans
fly across the skies, land in fields and waterways
and feed.  They’re not being romantic or special:
they’re feeding.  That’s it and that’s all. Also,
like all of life, they enjoy being alive, rain or shine.
So, Mr. gunman, why don’t you just leave them be?
You’re such a fool, Mr. gunman, such a loser.
You’re not the hero you think in that little brain:
you’re a death dealing dead beat.
I wouldn’t say you’re a killer: that implies will,
you don’t have any of that.  Just brainwashing,
washed-out drained brain, any good flushed away.
Long gone what was there in forgotten times
when you were a very young child and could still see
a butterfly or bee, squirrel in a tree, swans in flight
at which you pointed hearing their great honking;
seeing the white wings against Autumn’s grey skies.
Now a gun toting mind-blind idiot wandering rainy fields
in muddy waders and saggy jacket, with runny nose and
soggy, sloshy feet .  What are you thinking Mr. gunman?
Obviously nothing.
A wandering scarecrow in a dying land
would not think or become self aware –
too much of an inconvenience.

41 thoughts on “The White Swans

  1. kertsen

    It’s a mind set that takes pleasure in killing . There are a few good reasons to kill : firstly to eat, secondly to remove those with murderous intent such as ISIS, in self defence to protect our own existence.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      In “my” world, there are no good reasons to kill, since food is plentiful without shedding blood, as as for those with murderous intent, as long as killing is seen as a cure rather than a curse, no matter how man murderers are executed there will always be more, until we learn it doesn’t work. My take on all of it. You could say I’m quite tired of the whole mess and some days I think of the dead victims as the lucky ones. Considering all we’ve been given, of instructions and opportunities to evolve differently, and our refusal to even consider alternatives to eye for eye, tooth for tooth, etc (which aren’t natural laws) and our insistence on ever returning to our wallowing in the mud of misogyny, racism, greed, psychopathy and overt corruption in high places, I see no hope for this species to ever make the necessary jump into the mind of a greater humanity. Between that mosque horror and events of Black Friday in the States, there can be little doubt that Earthians have declared war on themselves and their humanity. We’ve irreversibly engaged our plunge into an era of barbaric dark ages. My take.

      1. kertsen

        Your world is the ideal one but not the real one , it’s a much nicer world but a pretend one and we all escape into pretence when things get to unpleasant. We can only evolve along the lines laid out in the past thousands of years. Although we now have choice due to self awareness we carry a huge evolutionary baggage that steers some of our behaviour patterns. It could well be that we will take a big step or two backwards to learn a better life style.
        Killing is the only way of ridding the human race of some of its worst specimens , mud wallowers is your term. The law must decide who is worthy of punishment and who requires annihilation. The war you speak of is the war between conscience and desires and it rages in us all.

  2. Akhila

    Is that a kind of adaptation to where we live or is it a kind of tuning to our limits, say like we get used to some pains when it become a part of our lives

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thanks Akhila. I think both, if I follow your questions. Definitely people have adapted (accepted) to mindless rituals and performances. As to getting used to some pains that become part of our lives, this is true, though it should never be used as a reason to inflict more pain on those who have learned to patiently bear them. When I look at Earthian humanity, I think, “Yes, we do have a mega problem here.”

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thanks, Clarissa. How much of the killing (overt and covert) indulged in by our systems and beliefs really has to do with legitimate “eating” and “defending”? And even so, should we not be evolved past those perceived “needs” by now, since we know two things: killing to eat is totally unnecessary and “defending” only leads to more killing? When we say “defend” we are admitting that we are gratuitous predators. We kill for greed, lust, pleasure, vengeance, seldom out of any need, if ever.

  3. franklparker

    I enjoyed that, thank you Sha’Tara. I was struck by a thought at the end, though. You mentioned ‘scarecrow’ and I wondered why scarecrows are effective. I guess it’s because birds (not just crows) long ago learned that man was a predatory species. To which I would add that scarecrows do not always take human form. Few things are more effective in that regard than a dead crow!

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thank you Frank. I didn’t know that about dead crows, though I do remember that my people (Bretons) still held to the superstition that nailing a dead barn owl to the door of a house warded off evil such as disease, predatory humans and evil spirits.

  4. Phil Huston

    There’s a wonderful song from the old days, written by Burton Cummings (a Canadian) called “Guns Guns Guns.” You don’t need to be a Guess Who fan or a Canadian to appreciate it’s simple theme of stupid and guns.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Yes, stupid and guns go good together, Americans certainly prove it to the best of their ability. The thing is though, the stupid and guns thing is spreading world-wide. I wonder where the species and its world will be at when stupid’s only moving targets left are human beings, and when eventually it can’t find guns or ammo to shoot with.

      1. Phil Huston

        Carrie Louise tried to throw a shotgun at a snake…oops, I never posted that one. Never mind! Yeah, get good at throwing them, I guess. I always wondered how hunting season would go if the deer and bear were equally armed.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      I like to throw in a whole lot of ellipsiseses… and ‘ apostrophieseses. I think they make a writer’s life more colourful and they prevent writers’ block. (I spell colourful that way to bug you southerners.)

      1. Phil Huston

        I wrote a collab with some people across the pond. Their spell check is different than mine. Somehow it made me seem more literary…

  5. Rosaliene Bacchus

    I always enjoy your poetic expression, Sha’Tara. I especially liked the following verse: “A wandering scarecrow in a dying land”. It’s a powerful description of humankind’s evolution (or is it devolution?) as a species on Planet Earth. Expanding on Frank’s comment, I would add that “scarecrow” sums up well our predatory nature which expands far beyond the avian species to include our own kind.

  6. Sha'Tara Post author

    Sadly, I must concur. Often I launch out a rant in the hope that a trusty, intelligent person will disagree with me… AND PROVE ME WRONG. I won’t just agree with anyone talking positive change and peace and love… I need PROOF. I need proof for everything. I need proof that love conquers ALL and I mean ALL: the good, the bad, the ugly and the indifferent. I need proof that it has done so already and stands ready to do so again. I need proof that the majority really, I mean really, would rather see people doing good deeds than evil ones. I need proof that movies depicting only “do-gooding” will outsell movies extolling violence at every box office in the world.

  7. Woebegone but Hopeful

    Good poem Sha’ Tara.
    The balance of imagery and accusation at the gun ‘sportsman’ is just right.
    Can’t they just go paint-ball playing?

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      That’s not nearly as much fun, Roger: no one is being killed, no real blood spilled, little pain inflicted. Psychos need to inflict fear, pain, bloodshed and finally death to find their deepest satisfaction. I’m not making that up, it’s historical.

      1. Woebegone but Hopeful

        Well if they feel that need The Romans had these circuses….. and guys used to hack at each other, or do you think that evens up the odds too much, and they wouldn’t care for that.

      2. Sha'Tara Post author

        They’re way too cowardly for that. They’d do it for the show, as long as it was a set-up, or if someone did have to die, the loser was rigged to lose (drugged or somehow incapacitated). …or, the fighters were from some sort of “death row” and were given little choice, and a chance at getting their freedom. In any case the point is, it would have to be a set up, no matter what, with predetermined results. Remember that last scene in “The Gladiator.” Our hero wasn’t supposed to win…

      3. Woebegone but Hopeful

        Not really much are they? I mean going out in a loin skin with a few pointed sticks to hunt down a meal is one thing….

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