Once upon a cow corpse dead
A fly crawled in its rotting head.
Her thorax downward did she sit
And for a moment seemed to shit.
But from her moistened cervix came
What was not rice, though looked the same.
No, none of that was what she shat
For only eggs lay where she sat.
And in a day from those did come
What was not one nor two but some.
A writhing cloud of larvae born
Full filled that skull from horn to horn.
Within that nasty, stinking rot
A thousand maggots she’d begot.
A gross and fleshy writhing host
Our Mama fly could surely boast.
Perhaps a thousand more would come
Before the day could count the sum.
Proliferation like no mammal can,
One at a time, is the lot of Man;
At best a twin or some triplets more
Rare is the birth that gives us four,
But not that fly, no, she births with force
Needing hardly any intercourse.
True, she hails from a vile species
That makes its babies in piled feces
And yes that skull, ‘tis a nasty sight
Like a churning brain of living white,
But in the miracle that is giving Life
She is the most abundant wife.
Existence flowers with her every breath
And lives she brings from rot and death.
I realize that more than a few will have found that gross. I hope that a few others will have found it funny. But, gross and funny aside, it is tribute to life that is genuine (and more than passingly inspired by Robinson Jeffers’ poem “The Vulture”). I sit here today only scant hours from holding my newborn grandson. My first grandson. And, while perhaps there are those who would wrinkle up their brows and say, “A fine tribute to the newly arrived boy, much less to his mother, that you post this!” But, it’s not really a commentary on human birth as being less prolific. It’s more a celebration of just being. Fly or human, it makes no difference. It’s just amazing to be alive.
There may turn out in the end, to be nothing after we die. I’d like to hope there is something, but reason and logic often play upon such hope, upon anything nearing faith, and suggest that, it’s at least plausible that this is all we get. Just this. And what if that is true? What if there is no heaven? No reincarnation. No anything?
If that is the case (and don’t panic my friends of Faith, I’m just posing it as a possibility—one that, if you cannot bear to see it, makes me fear for the strength of that very thing you hold so dear), then, paying some tribute to just the great fortune of being seems in order on this day. This is my celebration of our great opportunity to do something that might be a singularity in a vast, vast universe: the singularity of living.
If it is so, if this is all there is, then we do share something with even the lowliest of creatures. There are more stars in the sky then there are all of us living on this planet, from the most gifted of us to the nastiest of creepy-crawly things. So, today, I celebrate it all. Yes, with an “ewww” and yes, with a tongue placed firmly in my cheek. But I celebrate.
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While not typically a poet (even I even count as one now), I am known for humorous writing in various form. Keep up with the latest satire, rants, raves and the occasional bit on writing craft and industry. Click over, click like, and say "hi."
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