He thrashes in the shallows
trying to get free;
the tiger shark will starve
chased by his greed
he went a little too far
and now lays stranded on the beach.
He holds his gun to his chest,
(his lifeline in the dust)
he crouches and he's silent
while the fading evening sun
burns upon the violence
that is yet to come.
He’d never wanted to kill;
he was drafted to this war
and so, afraid he went his way
forgetting who he'd been before,
he came upon this gruesome place
to be chased by haunts forevermore.
The schoolhouse sits and watches,
full of forgotten dreams
so many people haves died there
just trying to survive.
All of that knowledge
is lost in the time.
He never wanted to be a teacher,
he never even liked math,
he wanted to be an astronaut,
but he was pushed down this path;
he got his degree and took the job,
and now wastes his life in a tenth-grade class.
The salmon swim for eternity,
fighting for their chance to spawn.
Forgetting their own preservation,
they fight until their strength is gone;
a heroic feat for deterioration,
a queen sacrifice for the life of a pawn.
The locusts march forever,
afraid of what’s behind,
we all do things we’re not proud of;
we’re all so scared to die;
we’re chased, in swarms we shove,
in swarms we cannibalize.
Don’t we ever learn?
Why are we so like all of these others?
We are ruled by our instincts;
losing our humanity, we become like the creatures,
losing our sanity, we forget how to think,
pretending we're alone in this universe;
we wake up at dawn, still half asleep,
we throw on some clothes and push off to school,
we work our hearts out just to learn,
but how will it help us? What is its use?
How will it change us? What is its worth?
How will it help us when we have to choose?
We trust our instincts, but not our morals,
We overlook the things that are right,
We choose the easiest path to go down,
We’d rather run than fight.
We’re too afraid to turn around
and walk back to the light.
If we don’t turn around right now,
we’ll move forever like the locusts,
until the day the airplanes come,
leaving a trail of death and dust;
shriveled bodies in the setting sun;
rejoicing plants, safe from us.
We are the locusts.
We’ve done the chasing,
pushing others off that cliff,
so afraid of falling, we’re not willing,
willing to try the “What Ifs”,
What if we started catching?
Kelly Zion's Other Poems
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Comments about this poem (Locust Instinct by Kelly Zion )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
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