The Conservative Way & Can't Call That Conservative
A reading by the poet


Thinking snails are justifiably disappointed
in their lethargic and lazy ancestors,
who just crawled around, in their distinctive way,
while all the evolving species learned to fly, and to swim,
and were getting legs, or getting rid of their legs,
and organizing economies for eating,
and generally taking possession of the world.
Smart snails should know, their conservative ancestors
did not invest in such failing enterprises:
some even went parthenogenetic: invest still less!
They all kept out of the way of superior appetites
by being slimy and unattractive and hidden,
and they wisely survived: and left their legacy
of being chosen and served in select restaurants.
Those ancestor snails chose not to turn into cuttlefish,
to be devoured by the ton wherever they went,
and were afraid to evolve into terrible giant squid,
and as for becoming pearly-chambered nautiluses
and building pearly chambers all their life -
they said - No Way, you can't take it with you!
some crab will eat you out of house and home.
They chose with their lazy lives the right to go on being snails
(naturally, all of them being just single bachelors)
so they never! turned out to be any body much.


Thinking T-partyites are mostly horrified today
at their T-party elders going clear over the cliff,
T-party-elders helping the crazies who shoot all day,
and T-party elders damaging our nation
to starve babies, close schools, dump vets…
reprobates, and counter to their voters’ wishes,
and the mistaken, position taken, by poor Todd Akin
that his laws would be for different levels of fun…
seen thus, T-party-elders flop the comparison:
Those ancient slithering snail-elders always stood for
(or slid, or glided) for equal rights for every one
supporting every single bachelor on her own
and every snail at her own snail’s pace!
Now, as between T-party-elders with their bad positions,
and snail-elders defending rights for everyone,
it seems like the old snail-elders were considerably the smarter
of these two sub-sets of elder-elder thinkers,
begging the comparison.
No comparison!

From A Peck O' Poems for the 99%
by JK Burnham