About Jodey Bateman Pablo Neruda Translations by Jodey Bateman Contributors Abuela Musica Jalapeno Peppers Children’s Page Finder Submissions

Instince and Spirit | Poem

Instinct And Spirit

There’s a biology to attitudes,

Whether humdrum or extreme.

But there’s a Spirit too,

That gives personality, how we see

What we see, to do what we do,

As…something particular, to call it,

To call it something at all, to know.

Threat, say. A biology of territory.

Defensible space, sufficient for food,

And raising our young. People’s instinct

Is all-too-clearly the same as

Elk, wolves, even fish. But, for people,

Instinct is not the whole story.

We not only do what we do,

Effective or not. We see it…

Some way, to call those we

Fight or make peace with something.

Scapegoats. Those wicked…

Whatever, whosever we so designate.

A biology, primitive, below human,

To what we feel as threat.

But a Spirit, too, to clothe what

We feel as how we see it,

To see it at all, to respond,

Be our response human or monstrous,

Sensible or mindless,

Creative, passive, or running amok.


- Uncle River

to River     /     to Moongate