MS (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

0028 Root For The Vegetable Rights Movement!

It’s the inevitable march,
the golden-hearted chain,
of Ultimate Compassion:

yesterday, a group of anglers,
danglers in the river for hours on end
of peaceful anticipation
punctuated by a rare bite
from a fish, which then the most sporting
unhook and throw back to freedom rather than
yet another fish supper

were set upon by a group of 35
‘protesters’… you do the math,
how many man-hours to save
one fish? With the courage
of their convictions, the trawler fleet
should be their next sea-green
seasick target… and on a smaller scale,
obviously the shore of the Sea of Galilee
is a high-profile target (assuming that
it’s not in the fighting zone at the time…)

And there’s more to come –
the Vegetable Rights movement
which so far has kept underground (…)
has a huge task ahead, as it
gains ground so to speak:
those poor baby peas, mown down at dewy-fingered dawn
like army deserters in the First World War,
are the obvious target for our grief;
then the vast plains of America
slaughtering wheat for our daily bread
(and here again, the Sea of Galilee comes to mind –
do miracles have rights too?) these great plains
must come under fundamental survey…

and as the Compassion Movement gathers pace,
there’s all those mosquitoes in Africa and elsewhere
so cruelly deprived of their right
to sting like cornered terrorists,
and don’t viruses have their rights too?

Then comes a difficult moral decision –
what of animals that kill other animals?
Whose side are we on there? Which has
the greater rights to life and freedom? Brothers and sisters,
bleeding hearts, there’s much work to be done…
let's hope that war doesn't interfere with
our compassionate fight for rights..

by Michael Shepherd

Comments (1)

Michael, this had me rolling on the floor, and hooting with laughter as I recognized some of the bleeding heart liberals. Theirs must be quite a delima (bean, of course) trying to make their decisions on who or what to fight next, and your puns are subtly hidden but that is what had me hooting, so I loved this whole poem! ! Thanks for starting my day out with laughter.