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Leaf Cutter Ants

December 28, 2007

Near Tulum
Yucatan peninsula
March 10, 2003

Have you ever seen a parade like this?
A six-inch highway, for two hundred yards
Precisely cleared in red forest earth,
Connecting tree and nest. Marchers
Heading home carry green flags
Ten times taller than themselves.
Those who have delivered flags
Head back to fetch another.
Unaware of one-way streets,
They collide in ordered chaos,
The Boston and New York marathons,
Running headlong though each other.
Surely the ancient Mayans saw this,
Before the rise of their pyramids,
Before they learned to raise the maize
That exploded their numbers and
Brought their elite the gift of time,
To learn Astronomy, Art and Architecture.
Can you see them, on hands and knees,
Studying the relentless little farmers?
Were these, their insect instructors,
The catalysts of a civilization?
After mastering the stars, Mayans
Invented Slavery, War and Sacrifice.
They forgot their tiny teachers.
They should have stuck to farming.
Their temples are in ruins.
The ants are still parading.

by Charles Dayton

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  1. lewis
    January 4, 2008 at 12:27 pm


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