Poems by Margaret Marcum

By Margaret Marcum

It is painful.
It is painful hearing
classmates lament the tragedy
of humans dying so many
in numbers.

It is painful
sitting down to dinner
with corpses severed
served for convenience.

Two eyes gaze back
at the last pair
they will ever see.
in one, the other,

From their eyes
we sit down to eat
red horns and pitch fork
in hand. We kill them
to die.

Kill them quick as to not ruin the meat—
smaller the cage, tenderer the tissue. For this crime,
the punishment is fitting—attack of the heart,
there is no forgetting.

Consumer of souls we no longer have. 

They hide their limbs
in dreams (whole) where only 
the last rays of sunshine and scent
of grass lives—feeling buried
deep in the dirt of a cell.

They do not understand
what is happening.
They do understand
the pain of their babies
and bodies not
their own.

We wait for the new
heaven and earth and keep
the wood fires burning. We close the door
and turn up the heat—so hungry for more
we put our mother in the oven.

Still so addicted to immediate gratification,
we made spring come sooner. Premature
forcing of lilies— Like descent into madness, wildflowers
blooming before the storm.

Their large gentle eyes
shrink to two small saucers
of terror supreme. They know
what is coming.

Paradise has no humans.

“White Swan”
            By Margaret Marcum

paddles across the lake
whistling a watery tune
for all the frogs she passes
happy on their lily pads.

Wondering what she will
catch for lunch today as
she bends her white neck
to the sky searching for water
that might come like the day before.

She glides on

back to her children
who must be hungry
waiting for their mother
to return.

She is filled with joy
across the lake
at the remembrance
of her babies wiggling
to her side
bringing warmth-waves
to meet her sloped chest.

But, the image is shattered—
cold waves are forming behind
her. She looks and sees
in a white boat steaming
straight toward her quickly—
a man.

He is holding a rod.
Fishing in the sea
is growing in popularity.

Her webbed feet running
through water naturally
steals up speed. As
he gets nearer. She hears
a rhythm. A familiar
one with a loud voice,
louder beats.
It echoes pure fear rising
in her chest. She recognizes it.
Music of demons.

Her spine tenses at the sight,
the feeling of frigid metal
greeting her, slicing her.
She moves quicker.

Suddenly he is there and he bears
his pole like an axe down
on her back. She screams
and he laughs,
taking another swing.
She tries to maneuver out
of his way but he follows
her white body with his utensil
sticking it in her side
raw and bloodied.

And when the suffering was
enough, that beautiful white
neck finally snapped, made to bow under
waves, her soft body floating.

As the boat forced ripples
speeding away until
the waters were still,
there resumed calmness, as if
nothing had ever happened.

And, as the man speeds away
her cygnets become very hungry.
As the man speeds away
the water dries to dust.
As the man speeds away

we are left stuck
under white bones

“Be a Voice for the Voiceless Being”
            By Margaret Marcum

I cannot hear what you are saying
when there is no desire
to understand your void-
filled words which also
asks for more

incessant suffering you cause needlessly—
you love the pleasure of your senses
more than God
more than your self,
more than your daughter,
uncle, sister, and mother.
The world is your oyster
and you’re the pearl
which won’t be broken
by images of piglets
strung up by their legs
spinning on an endless
merry-go-round where
inhumanity is profound.
When a mother’s premature
baby is ripped out from her,

how does your heart not falter?

You see that calf nibbling
in the distance? Here, take
this knife and stick it between
his doleful eyes. Carve out his heart,
crucify it with silver forks,
roast it in flames, and then feast
in front of all your cackling friends
and fortunate pets. Tell them
how good it tastes.
Cow’s milk, tendons, organs made for men’s
convenient satisfaction. The cruelty is
rare like the flesh on your plate.

So go ahead don’t change: guzzle down pus
and hen’s periods so you can retire
to the grave early, so that you arrive right on time
to explain to your god that despite the verses
commanding us to have mercy and how we were made
in His compassionate image, why
you paid to contribute to the genocide
of innocent beings, and so you arrive just in
time to make this world a better place.

- Margaret Marcum is currently a graduate student in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. She graduated with a B.A. (emphasis on poetry) from the University of Redlands, where she was a member of the Proudian Interdisciplinary Honors Program. Her literary interests include vegan studies, ecofeminism, animal rights, and healing the collective through personal narrative.

Copyright©2020 By Margaret Marcum. All Rights Reserved.