Milk of human kindness

For Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge, a butterfly cinquain.


What breed

is ours that stirs

only when our little

cup over-flows though death stalks for


Evil grows banal and we watch

with bored indifference

as the red tide


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

31 thoughts on “Milk of human kindness”

  1. That poem cut deep. I can see the apathy from the masses when it comes to numerous evils and injustices in the world. Part of the poem sort of reminded me of the song “Eyes Wide Open” by Gotye even though that song was about the environment.

      1. I wouldn’t call it negligence, it’s how capitalism works. We’ve done a great job expanding and growing. It’s just that nobody ever explained how we stop it.

      2. I meant how companies can be negligent to the environment. Sorry if I didn’t make that clear at first. You are right about how it’s expanded without anyone knowing or having the power to stop it.

      3. What I meant was that I’m not sure ‘negligent’ is the right word. It implies they would behave better but somehow they slip up, make a mistake, someone doesn’t do their job right. Maybe I’m just a cynic, but I think it’s built into the system that it only succeeds if there are no holds barred. Corporate interest is headless and heartless. It has no conscience, and business success, making money for shareholders justifies any means, and it inevitable has to keep expanding, looking for new ‘markets’. If it even slows we scream recession and job losses, so the machine gets pumped up again.

      4. Gotcha. Your explanation makes a ton of sense. You bring up good points about how it’s all part of the plan instead of mistakes or slips. The machine certainly a cruel thing.

  2. You are spot on with your words, Jane… and in so many ways. I feel like the whole world is tumbling into chaos. This poem is so powerful and really punches me in the gut! ❤

      1. I always think it’s best to let people know where you stand otherwise you have to listen to a lot of guff from the people who believe theirs is the only opinion—and it isn’t yours 🙂

      1. I was just talking with someone about people getting crazy about plastic drinking straws instead of the enormity of overconsumption and waste.

  3. Thank you. I’m getting increasingly despairing of the way we will happily obsess about some celeb’s dress/boy/girlfriend and whine about the flight delay to some exotic luxury holiday location, and ignore that the planet is going down the pan and half of its population is already living in hell.

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