• Oscar Brown, Jr.

LIFE AND DEATH

For fitness sake

What breeds here feeds

And has to take

The food it needs

From life's supply

With all its might

To satisfy

Its appetite


That's what the cost

Is to survive

Some lives are lost

So others thrive

Some get pursued

Down to defeat

And turned to food

The other eats


This viciousness

Exists in all

The big fishes

Gulp down the small

The grazing herd

Devours the grass

An early bird

Lets no worm pass


The fowl the fish

The four legged beast

Become the dish

From which we feast

As any life

They had ahead

Is put to knife

So we stay fed


Vegetable

Root, shoot, fruit shrub

If edible

Get turned to grub

So life is spent

To circulate

As nourishment

So we gain weight


Though we would starve

Should harvest stop

What good does harvest

Do the crop?

What benefit

Does wheat obtain

From growth when it

Gets ground to grain?


Livestock we graze

To reach large size

We say we raise

But are they wise

To the orders

They will be given

At the slaughters

To which they're driven?


In these conquests

All life's involved

And of these deaths

None is absolved

Yet all can sleep

Quite free of guilt

For deaths that keep

Our needs fulfilled



Since first instinct

Is self preserve

Few feeders think

Their meals will serve

Themselves of just

Their own accords

No way! Food must

Be got by force


And so the strong

Consume the weak

Some call it wrong

But not unique

Such fatal facts

Have to be faced

As nature acts

Out cruel charades


Only the fit

Survive to stay

The unfit quit

And perish: they

Become the fuel

All life requires

For the renewal

Of sunlit fires


The sun donates

A day each dawn

Then radiates

To keep it on

And bestow vast

Beneficence

Brilliantly cast

In all events


The energies

With which life grows

Descend in these

Bright solar shows

Of beam and ray

As sunshine, but

Politics say

Which will get what


Political rules

All obey

So critical

In every way

Dictate who's tough

Enough to boss

And who will suffer

Mortal loss


To loss and gain

All lives are linked

In a food chain

Until extinct

And even dead

Each still retains

Strength we get fed

From the remains


Most feeders have

To search a lot

To snatch and grab

A feeding spot

And none inclines

To vacate space

So other kinds

Have a good place


Nature decrees

Long as we live

We have to seize

What none will give

The very life

Each life defends

This causes strife

That never ends


From the minute

We each arrive

We are in it

And must connive

In deadly deeds

For all we're worth

Like all that breeds

On Planet Earth


Since life's so hard

It's hardly fair

Remain on guard

And well aware

That predators

Plot every day

To get at yours

Some kind of way


Yes, stay alert

Should you relax

You could be hurt

In the attacks

Of hungry creatures

Who survive

By eating each

Other alive


Though we arranged

To civilize

It has not changed

Our appetites

Therefore we pray

To stay well fed

"Give us this day

"Our daily bread"


We have no choice

In this process

No life avoids

Its food contests

For life to grow

Life is destroyed

That's how life shows

Death is enjoyed


It is to die

All life is doomed

For it's death by

Which life's resumed

Transformed into

Edible states

It journeys through

To various fates



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