An ANTidote for Apocalyptic Talk

From "Antz"

From “Antz”


 Apocalyptic language seems all the rage in the primaries this year, especially amongst the GOP candidates but with Bernie Sanders as well. If it’s getting you down, here’s a poem by my father to lighten the mood.

True, it’s got its own apocalyptic message regarding the environment and militarism. But it’s told from the view of an “apocalyptic ant” and is heavy on the puns, so there’s a comic element. It appears in An ABC of Radical Ecology (1982, 1990).

How many Biblical references can you identify? The Nativity, the Sermon on the Mount, and the Book of Revelations are heavily represented.

A Is for Apocalyptic Ant

By Scott Bates

who climbed to the
top of the Dome of the
Rock in Jerusalem and
proclaimed himself
the Antichrist

I am the dark beast he cried
my hour has come round at last my
Word has at last found flesh
I am the Alpha and the Omega
proclaimed by the prophets
I was born in Bethlehem of Judea
on Friday the Thirteenth
I was conceived parthenogenetically
by Machshamah
the Great Ant Mother of Nazareth
on the Long Night of the Dark Moon
the sun went down in the west
the workers left their flocks of aphids grazing
the masses traveled to my hill bringing
insects and frangipani and merd

Come to me you sluggards
Come build the Ant Hill of the Millenium
the fifteen signs are nigh
the oceans are beginning to burn

Nation is warring against nation
famine and pestilence are abroad in the land

two billion years of ground work
the ants are ready to rise

Blessed are the ants
for they shall inherit the earth

blessed is pollution
for poisoning the enemy

blessed is DDT
for building our reisistance

blessed is the Bomb
for preparing the way

blessed are the Warmakers
for bestowing the Kingdom of Earth upon us

thrice blessed am I
the Absolute Anticlimax
the Answer and the Antecedent

He spoke and the heavens
opened and a Chromium-plated Helicopter
descended and around about its
many wings shone a multitude
of B-52’s MIG-17’s and F-104”s praising
him in the highest and saying

while on earth there
was a great darkness and
the anti-sound of millions
upon millions
of moving

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  • Literature is as vital to our lives as food and shelter. Stories and poems help us work through the challenges we face, from everyday irritations to loneliness, heartache, and death. Literature is meant to mix it up with life. This website explores how it does so.

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