Fork War



The uninvited guest announces his arrival.
Shocks, stuns – not expected at this address.
He makes himself comfortable in what was my haven.
Laughs, cock-sure of himself.
“You’re not welcome.” I tell him.
“I’m staying,” he insists.
“We’ll fight it out!” I muster.
“You cannot win this battle,” he gloats.

I’m frozen in the face of the gun.
But I raise my sights
Though numb,
Though barely able to distinguish any longer,
Between illusion and reality,
Between nightmare and waking.
I bat back at him:
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way!”

He sits down at the table now –
In for the long-haul.
Stubborn, hardened; set on my destruction.
He asks what’s on the menu tonight.
I tell him defiantly: “fasting.”
He hopes for some flesh – of young pig, cow, lamb, bullock,
“Something…processed,” he fancies;
The Devil’s glint in his eye. [1]

In a flash, I remember:
“A pint of fat in every chicken.”
He wants to eat me up!
He wants my flesh too, mastery over my destiny.
But he shan’t have it, I determine;
My will set on Life, on important work yet to do.
My body shakes uncontrollably,
But all cravings are reprogrammable, I know.

In the Beginning, I miraculously recall, the Divine instructed:
“Every seed-bearing plant…”
“Every plant yielding seed that is on the face of the earth.”
“Every tree which has fruit.”
The fruit was not forbidden after all!
“It shall be food for you,” God dictated:
“You shall have them for food.”
The Creator’s decision; the Divine wisdom of Genesis 1:29.

But the uninvited guest wants death:
A Destroyer, not a Creator.
Death of lamb, chicken, turkey, goat;
Death of pigeon, rabbit, deer, sea being.
He would turn my vital body…
Into a charnel house.
He would encourage putrefication,
Toxicity, rotting…

He would manifest delays, blockage –
Hold ups, in my spiralling intestine.
Those 36 feet of sensitive tubing not geared,
For the carnivore’s rapid elimination of poison.
He would fire-up those free radicals with his hate speeches;
Hell-bent on bombing my healthy cells.
Abominably fixated,
On an early apocalypse.

An angel takes over;
Floods my consciousness with Nature’s glory.
With a jungle of green life-sustainers:
Chicory, spinach, lettuce, chard…
With a blaze of colour,
A berry medley, apricots, pulses, pillar-box-red tomatoes [2]
With a sumptuous cornucopia
Of nonviolent abundance.

Wheat-eater, not meat-eater,” I recall. [3] 
“11,000 animals consumed –
In just one lifetime.”
“Veganism: a state of kind.”
God’s peaceable diet,
The Destroyer of the destroyers.
More than a match,
For the uninvited guest.



Heidi Stephenson







By Heidi Stephenson

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