There once was an ape,
With the ability to think.
He had many nights alone to himself,
In which to articulate a perplexing question:
There was no answer, of course,
His death,
–Which always remained
Of the utmost importance to himself,
Was irrelevant to the rest of existence.
Ponder this,
Ponder this,
For I have your time now.
Your death,
–Which always remains
Of the utmost importance to you,
Is irrelevant to the rest of existence.

You see,
This ape had learned too much.
He no longer had the room
In his brain,
For the flawed but false lies,
Of meaning and religion,
The poor bastard.

But the most marvelous of all
His advancements
Was that he could hold,
Two realities in his mind,
A lie and the truth,
And remember them both.
This was how he used,
That massive brain.
And of course,
To deem himself
Separate from the planet
And greater than the other animals,
Whom he tortured and raped.

To ameliorate these
Difficult and unsettling truths,
He imbibed a bounty of alcohols
And one day met a girl,
With whom he had a child,
And when the child asked,
“What happens when you die?”
The man told his father’s lie,
The one that birthed those nights into existence,
For he assumed the child stupider then he,
And would struggle under the stark truth,
And thus each successive
Generation was borne underneath this burden
To come to terms with two realties:
That life has meaning,
And that it does not.

A malady easily remedied:
There’s no need
To lie to the children at all.

This is from the poetry collection, Saudade, which can be purchased here.

Donovan James is a writer, musician, cat enthusiast and psychonaut. He is still an idealist, despite a ravaging cynicism. He believes that the money and effort allocated to war and fear should be used to feed, shelter, and educate the poor, no human being excluded. His work has appeared in Commonline Journal, and Monkey With A Hat On theater productions. His book of poetry, Saudade, can be purchased here.