Sunday, 18 October 2020

The Hidden Snare

some risks must be taken
grounds chosen and stakes claimed
aloud in song, in chant, in unison
in pride, because the alternative
is terrifying

a social species
becomes estranged and
to abandon each other is
to forget our nature
we have done enough of that

we have traded in our wilderness
for spirits, hearts and minds
for carrots and the snare of the easy life
where we can close our eyes in comfort
and see no sticks, no strings, no snags

there are no rough corners here
if we only look the other way
of course we can believe
there is plenty, for all
the heavy work has been done

countless great-grandmothers
and their mates
fought for our freedom
from corsets, from oppression and
from thought, it seems

because it's just as easy now to go
with the flow and we are still
afraid of conflict
too polite to comment
and too busy

listening to empty words and watching without seeing as they push their
pretty pebbles from left to right
and stay safe in the centre
though the grass could still be greener

convincing each other
and worse, ourselves
that we are happy, enough and free
and teeth and claws would make
no impression anyway

but who knows why men do anything
and boys will be boys is still a line we hear
too often and the hunters who set the
rules are still too secure to bother
about concealing themselves

So, let's finally see them and look out
for others. pass on the comforts
we can still share and let's do it together
as though we weren’t afraid
because there’s plenty of grass, surely?


This poem was inspired by the novel, Watership Down, by Richard Adams, particularly the chapters that end part one (from 'The Stranger in the Field' to 'The Shining Wire').

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