Survival of the Fattest

As many of you know, tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in the United States.  And a large part of it involves eating.  Admittedly, the United States has abundant food, although some of our citizens run a bit low on the stuff.  So, for Thanksgiving, I will provide you with the longest poem I have ever written:

Survival of the Fattest

I took a survey just for fun

I asked each and every one

If they thought that they were greedier than I


I assumed they understood

And they weren’t up to no good

And that half should have been low and half been high


For I’m a median sort of man

In the middle of the span

Surely it would turn out as I said


So, I wrote down their conclusions

And hoped had no illusions

But as I figured all the numbers in my head


It seemed it wasn’t so at all

Not even close, as I recall

For I fell far below the greed I thought I had


It seemed there was a large delight

In being at the height

And the implications of this fact are rather sad


But think! It makes good sense

In the logic of events

That the guy who has the most is bound to last


Evolution (Darwin’s guess)

Was surely bound to bless

The greediest of the greedies in the past


You think it’s just a spoof?

You want objective proof?

Well take a moment friend and simply look around


Little cars are getting big

And we each eat like a pig

So you see my theory really is quite sound


Once resigned to such a case

You’re quick to say you have no trace

Of remorse for what you want or how you act


It’s the natural scheme of things

Certainly of the truth it rings

Greed is really good, and that’s a fact


You see it as a drive

To keep you and yours alive

Why then is greed a bad thing for too seek?


I suppose it’s the institution

Of the word called distribution

For the average guy is well below the peak


But surely competition

Prevents the repetition

Of a strategy of life that always looses


A lack of greed will weed you out

Your offspring will be few no doubt

While the greedy guy has all the kids he chooses


But the wrench within the gears

Is that things do change with years

Nothing stays the same — no status quo


Since the greedier we get

As though Darwin drove us yet

We must ask ourselves how far this thing will go?


Is it not greed that starts all wars

Annihilates millions by the scores

Creates the hatred in our hearts for wrongs past done?


If we follow at this pace

Will we delete the human race

To the point that left standing is just one?


But how to rid us of this plague

Is an issue that is vague

It’s as if a gear inside a clock


Said, “I’m just a cog, I would opine

But even so, I’ll redesign

These works to stop the Tick, but save the Tock


For all our wisdom, we’re but small

So even though we know it all

We cannot change one tiny part of all this greed


We have instituted laws

But greed is still a mighty cause

And our plan is lacking something that we need


Take ethics for example

For although money is quite ample

Among the rich who seem to need more all the time


Their view is “take what’s showing

Especially if it’s glowing

For as long as you’re not caught, it is no crime!”


So much for jurisprudence

It’s wasted on the students

Of the greedy gots who run the railroad on this earth


For although you think giving

Is the better part of living

The greedies will just grab for all you’re worth


We also tried religion

Which we thought might help a smidgen

Maybe moral codes will do the trick?


Oh, but wait, remember war

And how many were fought for

Religious codes that generally make one sick


Even in written words

When we talk of worms and birds

It’s the guy who gets there first who gets it all


So if you want to be not needy

Then you’d better turn quite greedy

Or you’re the one who’ll have to take the fall


I guess I’m back where from I came

I still see things the same

But, I haven’t solved the problem that I found


Like world hunger, wars, and illness

Or the noise that shatters stillness

I’m convinced that greed will always be around


Art Davenport

February 2000


I belong to a local writer’s group that meets twice a month.  I was not at the last meeting in October and just saw the “homework” that was generated at the meeting.  Not having much time, I wrote something that doesn’t quite fit the request.  The request was to write a short story of 500 to 1500 words that ends in “And the ghost slowly faded through the wall.”

Here is my entry:


The night I died

I almost cried

It seemed so sad to see

But then I found

Once in the ground

It wasn’t bad “To be

Or not to be” alive in life

With all the strife

That filled my days with pain

And tears that fell,

As streams from Hell,

That turned the sun to rain

So now I rest

And try my best

To scare the living with a laugh

Those beings who

Are living through

A life that’s filled with chaff

Nightly is my time to roam

I startle them with slightest moan

Then tell myself a joke to bring my smile

Followed by laughing loud revealing

In them that so loathsome feeling

That life may end in just another mile

For what is life but fear of death

That near is the day you’ll lose your breath

And freshened air will never once return

Life rushes by

And with your eye

You see your end, a lonely clay-like urn

But urn or grave

You’re not a slave

To fear of death and rot

You’re free at last

To have a blast

Scaring those whose death is not

“Perchance to dream”

Just may not seem

So bad once you have left

Along a path that has no sound,

Ensconced or underground,

Where you’ll find you finally have no heft

And for that very reason

You’ve reached that very season

Where your matter doesn’t matter much at all

The living will surely feel the fear

Of having one like you so near

And say the moment you disappear,

“Thank God that ghost has faded through the wall!”

Art Davenport, 2014