From fear so profitable for its ease to make,
Of the well-meaning to self-serving,
Off power milked from icons of deviance,
To be mutilated and manufactured
As the feed needed to breed fury
In the cattle to normalize that they will cannibalize
Their sisters, their brothers, they’re others.
Because it was superficially better for cost
Than the nurture lost of proper nutrition.
Feed sacks on face,
In the bondage of blue collar choke chains,
The creatures cannot see
As they are being led gently to slaughter,
To become an export of hate-mongered followers to Oblivion,
An army perfected for any cause,
Even pre-packaged for consumer convenience.
Off further from the yard
Can be heard the milk maid and her grievances,
That guilt leaves her defeated,
But not that the guilt would not be
For not the absence of action.
Her cries become silence
As she continues her job as always before.
Silence is her death
In a farm of noise so chaotic
You can no longer find sleep at night.
You of the stable hands few
Who sees what has been
And can be empath oracle to see what could be,
Be that ugly roots digging deeper to spoil our soil
Or the change Romantic hearts hopelessly pined for.
You who cannot be lulled to peace
Via non-confronting “peace” with regimen as is
And continue to champion for peace as truly is,
Where pain is no longer a tool to convert and oppress
Nor a reason never to try
Against the suffering of communication,
You will continue to breathe
In spite of the farm foreclosing.
~ Tara Barley
Tara Bartley is currently a Senior at Washburn University, majoring in History and flirting with Sociology. Her works can be found in the Konza Journal and Microburst Kansas.A lifelong resident of Topeka, Kansas, she is active in its ever-expanding poetry scene as a member and hocker of the Speak Easy Poets.
Guest editor bio: Annette Hope Billings is an author/actor whose published works include a collection of poetry, A Net Full of Hope, and a collection of affirmations, Descants for a Daughter. Her poetry, prose, and short stories have appeared in a number of publications. She resides within the delights of being mother to one, grandmother to two and friend to many in her village of Topeka.