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The cruel yet sustaining nature of the circle of life : a haiku

Updated on April 15, 2013
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Like others, I always feel squeamish when I watch a wildlife documentary. The chase and the eventual devouring are a little difficult to stomach. However, these are animals, and the great circle of life, can be a cruel necessity. Do have fun interpreting this poem. The four poles, the cavernous object and the planes are a special poetic challenge.

Thomson's Gazelles
Thomson's Gazelles | Source

The Circle of Life

Four unstable poles

Charging on the great, wild plains

Thunderous and loud thuds


A rocket, precise

Platinum white makes the cut

Relishing the prize

Source

Cavernous and blank

A great shell lying aside

A great emptiness


Source

Sustaining existence

Fuel that recharges planes

Stable cruelty

Source

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    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Hyphenbird, thanks for the visit and the lovely compliment. You're right, deciding which words to use to bring out the sense of urgency and mystery at once was the challenge!! As was juxtaposing the images. I always look forward to your visits!!

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 

      6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      You took on a big challenge and did it wonderfully. your words were well chosen and perfectly placed. Bravo!!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Aha. I knew that one wouldn't be a hit! The animal world is cruel...but at least they do it to survive. Man...a little more questionable. Thanks, my dear, form dropping by!!

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 

      6 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Great job is summarizing the circle of life and it's necessity. Great pictures...well, except for the one with the carcass in it. :)

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 

      6 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Nice work midget, nature is amazing isn't it...great photos btw...cheers

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks Richard!! I think the survival of the fittest is a bit of a cruel concept, and I wish animals and humans and animals alike didn't have to play it that way. So sad that it is the way of the world! Thanks for coming by, I appreciate it!!

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 

      6 years ago from Kentucky

      Michelle -

      Sorry I'm late, been really busy today.

      Powerful Haiku. You've touched well on the survival of the fittest concept, as well as the innocence within' Exceptional!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Hi Hatter!! Glad you enjoyed it, thanks for stopping by!!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Hi Lord, thanks for stopping by!! Do try a haiku, combined with your knack for addressing social issues, I think you can do a great one. Thanks for dropping by!!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Keith, I think nature only strikes when struck. That's why it's taking revenge in so many different ways, with the tsunamis, earthquakes and all! Thanks for the visit, my friend!!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Hi Melanie!! Thanks for the visit. It's cruel, but at least with animals, there's a purpose to it. Man does it out of selfishness. Thanks for the compliment, and I appreciate you stopping by!!

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 

      6 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      I also cringe when I watch these documentaries, and when the hunting part comes on I cover my eyes and ask my husband to tell me when it's over!

      Your poem is engaging and beautiful, with perfectly placed images. Great job!!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Yes Nell, when we take time to just look at the sunset, nature is so tame....and when animals go for the kill, the wild side of nature surfaces. But it's all necessity!! Thanks for the share, Nell!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      True, Tobusiness. Nature is cruel for the sake of survival....man kills because it's a game, and for MONEY. It's fine if humanely done, but sometimes, it really just isn't. I showed a vid of tiger poaching to my students once and some became teary eyed...the way the poachers zoomed in on tigers was really so cruel. And it's all for the cash they get.

      Thanks for coming by, Jo!!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thank you James!! I always look forward to your visits and your haikus with colors. Thanks for the votes across....really appreciate that!!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thank you, Audrey!! Glad you've enjoyed these little snippets and I so appreciate the share!!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for these exceptional haiku. Congratulations on a great presentation.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Angelo. I'm glad you've enjoyed it!!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      This is a really insightful comment, Whonunuwho. The cycle of life cannot have broken links, or there'd be a lack of balance. You are so right..without the interference of man, the cycle would take care of itself. Man disrupts with poaching, capturing......all for the love of money. That is why nature is slowly exacting revenge, because we've taken her a little for granted!! Thanks for coming by, my friend.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Hi Mary!! Glad you've stopped by!! Thanks for the compliment, I hope to make these better as I write along. I usually switch channels when I see a lioness on the chase and she wins.....but as you rightly put, it's so necessary for the circle to remain a circle. (Otherwise you'd have broken links with a dearth of plants and overpopulation of gazelles.)

      Cruel....but a part of life. Hope humans don't exercise this circle in their own lives, though!!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Hello Jean!! So glad to connect and that you like this!! Do try a haiku, it can be a writing challenge, though very short!! Nature is cruel...but as you rightly put, all in the plan!! Really appreciate you coming by!!

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 

      6 years ago from New York

      Preciously done Michelle! Your love for nature is clear. Wonderfully written. You are getting on a higher drive writing haikus! Will try myself one!

    • profile image

      KDuBarry03 

      6 years ago

      Outstanding Haiku as always, Michelle! nature is like a double-edged sword: you never know when you'll strike with it or if it'll strike you.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      Fantastic Haiku poems, nature is a wild thing, and can be totally tame too, you have covered it all beautifully, voted up and tweeted!

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 

      6 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Michelle, wonderful Haiku poems, the images are stunning. We think nature is so cruel, I suppose it is. However, mankind is so much more cruel.

      We kill for fun, we kill because we feel like it, we kill each other because of religious belief, for money, property and so much more. Animals kill for food as do we. Because our Sunday roast comes vacuumed packed, all nicely rapped doesn't mean someone did not have to kill it.

    • profile image

      Olde Cashmere 

      6 years ago

      Interesting and engaging layout with the beautiful photos and words. Really enjoyed this Michelle, outstanding work. Voted up and rated awesome, interesting, and beautiful :)

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      These are great!! Sharing!

    • Angelo52 profile image

      Angelo52 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      Good stuff and excellent photos to go with the haiku poems.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 

      6 years ago from United States

      Yes the demands of life..the death of others of this creation, and yet, necessary to sustain all and the cycle of life , which is of utmost importance, and on a fragile time schedule, brought about by the carelessness of mankind. It is obvious that without interruption and interference, the cycle of life takes care of itself and sustains the world as it was intended. Now, comes man, the evolved monstrosity that would disrupt the balance scales of all living things upon this planet. Who are we and why do we think we are in control. It is my contention that we are not. We have become the deciding factors in sustenance of all and the survival of this world, as we know it. We have become, as the lions, on the stage of foreign shores.Yet less honorable in our characters.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      6 years ago from Florida

      Another great Haiku. This one is exceptional. I'm like you, I can't stand to see an animal killing another, but I know it is necessary for the circle of life!

      I voted this UP, etc.

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 

      6 years ago from New Jersey

      Lovely haiku, I never tried it before! Nature is both beautiful and sometimes has to hard, but it's all in the plan.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Yep, Mary, hard to understand indeed!! We wonder why nature is so cruel...then we remember that the population needs a balance. It's the way of the world, but traumatic when it hits us!! Thanks for your support always, Mary, I always look forward to Mary Craig coming by!! LOL!! It gets me excited!!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Exactly, Patty!!! The last line is my fave too. I love oxymoron!! Nature is cruel...but there needs to be a balance, as you've so rightly put!! Thanks for dropping by...and btw, fascinating that we always seem to be on the same page!!

    • Patty Kenyon profile image

      Patty Kenyon 

      6 years ago from Ledyard, Connecticut

      Michelle, you captured the full cycle of life with this Haiku!!! I love the words you used to describe the stampede, along with the Lions catch. I also loved the very last line "Stable cruelty"...to me that means that yes it may seem cruel but life does need a balance of life and death...so the circle is continuous and "stable" in population.

      Awesome Job!!! Voted Up, Awesome, Interesting, Beautiful, and Shared!!!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Wow! You always do a great job of 'haikuing' your subjects. A delicate balance and sometimes hard to understand but beautifully done.

      Voted up, awesome and beautiful.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Kim!! Always look forward to your visits!! Must mention that I've been collecting your recipes........you have a great talent for both writing and cooking!! Thanks for coming in, my dear!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 

      6 years ago

      This is a very intense haiku! Love it ^_^ The presentation is beautiful as well ^_^ voted, shared and pinned!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Shutri,it's cruel...but I guess if animals didn't hunt, there'd be an overpopulation of gazelles. The way of the world (still don't like watching, though.)

    • shruti sheshadri profile image

      shruti sheshadri 

      6 years ago from Bangalore, India

      Greta hub michelle! I like your way of approach to the poem, i mean, it's a great and unique topic to write about! Yes, it is sad and devious, but again as you rightly said, it is their way of life!

      beautifully expressed, voted up and shared :)

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Nature is cruel, Bill....but I guess that's to keep a balance in the animal population. If the lions weren't around, there'd be too many gazelles and zebras....and that would mean no more plants....and the overpopulation results in their death. Was just thinking of this through a fever today!! Thanks for the support, I always so look forward to you coming by.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michelle, nature can indeed be cruel....and yet so majestic! You captured it all very well....very nice job!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks for dropping by, Cyndi10!! I really appreciate it and I'm glad that you like this. Was just thinking of the circle of life and how cruel it is...yet, as you say so aptly, it is the way of nature!! Thanks for coming by!

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 

      6 years ago from Georgia

      Wow Michelle, you pack a lot into your haiku. And you're right, it is difficult to watch those animal scenes that so clearly illustrate the way of nature. I enjoyed you pictures to illustrate your writing. Voted up.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Yes, Ignugent, it's so scary, the circle of life...but necessary for animal population control!! I am so glad you've stopped by, Meldz. I enjoy sharing haikus with you!

    • profile image

      ignugent17 

      6 years ago

      Michelle,

      Powerful haiku! I love how you compare it to a rocket and precise. Enjoyed looking at the pictures too but I am a little scared when one of them open the mouth.

      Voted up and more.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Janine, you somehow manage to always be the first in!! Thanks so much.

      I wrote about this today because I find it so cruel..yet it's necessary to keep the animal population down. Thanks so much for the share!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      6 years ago from New York, New York

      Wow, Michelle this was so very powerful and indeed felt like I was watching a wildlife documentary the kind shown to kids in a science class in school. Very nicely done and totally visualized the drama as it was unfolding in your words. Have of course voted, shared and tweeted too!!!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Like others, I always feel squeamish when I watch a wildlife documentary. The chase and the eventual devouring are a little difficult to stomach. However, these are animals, and the great circle of life, can be a cruel necessity. Do have fun interpreting this poem. The four poles, the cavernous object and the planes are a special poetic challenge.

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