the old cow's day old carcass lies stiff in the earth

bloated and rotting

the lions, the hyenas, the rats, the vultures, the ants and maggots

all get a share

the photographer and film maker got their share too

it was a fine and fitting kill

an agonizing and obviously painful death

choked by the lion's powerful jaws

one can even smell

the nauseating red flesh through the Television screen

nature's laws fulfilled once again

on prime time

a primal scene

recounted again and again

in a never ending series of stalks, and leaps

and failures and successes

the great cycle of life comes again to another completion

as a commercial comes on

and I go to make some pop corn



Old mother is now dead

She died naturally

Silently and slowly

Each takes its share

The Hawk sib, the Wolf sib, the Snake sib

and even other tribes

all carry off parts and pieces of her body

in separate directions of the compass

to make sacrifices and offerings

to feast and celebrate

there is so much of her to remove

else they would all have forgotten where they got it

and still so much more remains

that the carcass is left to rot and stagnate

and flies are allowed to fester on it

and then seeds will germinate and weeds will grow on it

and in its forgotten place,

perhaps a tall tree will grow.


by Hugh M. Lewis


Professional Pariah: Ethnography of the Anthropological Self


Hugh M. Lewis

Blanket Copyright, Hugh M. Lewis, 2005. Use of this text governed by fair use policy--permission to make copies of this text is granted for purposes of research and non-profit instruction only.

Last Updated: 03/17/05