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- poetry by Dick Bentley

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God, the Flag, and Mom's Martinis

How she always mixed 'em
dry, stir don't bruise the
gin don't shake and when
the big stroke came to
take her away for heaven's sake
she cried let me go out on
a horse, on a great gray
horse, let me gallop

A solitary ant, when closely seen,
Is quite unlike a thinking, sentient being.
Observed in nettly field or tangly lawn,
It looks more like a goofy ganglion
Of nervous neurons legging o'er the lea
With deaf, dumb, blind yet restless energy.

But should this ant encounter on its way
A sickly moth expiring in the hay,
Observe how swiftly ants as one unite,
Soon four or ten have taken up the fight.
The queasy moth, encircled, has no chance
When pushed around by avid, addled ants.

Soon hundreds more arrive from near and far.
This blackened blob of living caviar,
This antsy broth that froths around the moth
Is purposeful as Hun or Visigoth
The day that ancient Rome was sacked and wrecked
By one totalitarian intellect.

The mass becomes a planner, calculator.
The moth becomes another meal to cater.
Does this reflect the mind of the Creator?

An ant's not intellectually reflective.
Its brain is most effective when collective.
Some call this outcome "naturally selective."

If so, is ant or moth the saint or sinner?
With natural selection there's no winner
when everyone is someone else's dinner.

Perhaps we've stretched the metaphor too far,
Imagining an antsy avatar,
With mortal man an insect's supplicant
And Deity descending as an ant.
These questions cover ground already trod.
The antswer's up to Darwin, or to God.

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