Lioness adopts a fawn
licks and protects it for days into weeks
until her odd love ends in dinner or desertion.

Is the praying mantis religious?
What does she feel when eating her mate
right after copulating - instead of having a smoke?

Competing instincts in living things
coexist and clash and confound us
as we strain our big brains
in search of bold insights

I watch in dismay as a live turtle is cooked for lunch
and served up with a $2,000 bottle of wine
at a proud Shanghai restaurant.

As a sensitive animal lover
I am disgusted by such casual culinary cruelty,
and yet I relish aged steaks and tender young lamb chops.

In myth and art the god Saturn ate his children,
and I ponder how higher instincts can reduce to love, hate, yum.

Even at peace in my hi-tech haven,
eyes casually surfing old TVs and new computers,
I can feel my mind inexorably drawn to scenes of violence.

And once again I crash into the complexity of the human condition.

© Joe Glaser, Dec 2009, rev. 2012, 2016