MEETING THE FAMILY (by Cliff Yates)

He says something
witty
about the budgie.

They smile.
He is smiling so much
that his cheeks ache.

He crosses his legs
and kicks the budgie
into the fire.

She screams.
It is not
a good start

to the evening.
It is not easy
to make conversation

with charred feathers
floating
about the room.

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THE ANTS’ MANIFESTO (by Gordon Meade)

Categorically, we are
Neither singular nor plural.
We are all. We are one.

Astronomically, we are not
Individual stars. We are the all
Embracing sun. Theologically,

We worship the Great White
Mother underneath the ground.
Politically, we cut across

All ideologies – communism,
Fascism, capitalism, collectivism
All, or none. Neurologically,

We are thoughts’ messengers,
The synapses of an amorphous brain.
Morally expedient, we kill

Everything we meet. We eat
Our enemies. Without us, the world
Would vanish. Adapt! Adopt

Our way of life, or perish