Michael Benedikt


Of Seals, And Our Smiles - Poem by Michael Benedikt

The last time they did any harm to anyone was probably thousands
of years ago;--therefore we catch them and cut them up into coats,
Their frolicsomeness, too, sliced up by contemptuous human analysis;
Yes, through the binoculars of the human in the dinghy, like a text
beneath some mad scientist's magnifying-glass
The seals as they cavort, tend to scan like some pre-prepared,
allegedly amusing, and gloriously convenient gloss which only
tells us

That the weak are only here on this our sad planet to be hurt.

The last time they did any harm to anyone was probably thousands
of years ago;--therefore we find them in the circus, like
purportedly hilarious characters, forced by us to be terribly
funny
On multicolored stands, noses pressed up against old auto-horns,
Falling all over themselves, and performing national anthems such
as "God Bless America"; "God Save The King"; and, sometimes,
occasionally still, "The Internationale"
--Half-Starved for a half-rotten fish, and the target
Of our ancient disrespect, secret loathing, andfinally outright
public contempt

Since the weak are only here on this our sad planet to be hurt.

Gaze, gaze again, oh Humans of Goodwill, upon more of what
even our children typically can see--
Examine, for example, the sight of a seal coming out of its
little white hut in a crowded city zoo; and then, as it raises
its remaining nose to sniff the city air
Slipping on a banana-peel; and, oh yes, let's examine all the
uproarious reactions to that, as the creature falls

For as long as the weak are only here on this our sad planet
to be hurt.


Comments about Of Seals, And Our Smiles by Michael Benedikt

  • (4/23/2007 11:16:00 PM)


    A very compassionate poem. I like your work very much.

    Velene Campbell
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Read poems about / on: sad, city, america, funny, fish, sometimes, children, god, time, fishing, child, smile



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 20, 2003



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