A poem considering the true roots of what we call civilization.
Claws and Teeth
Once the world was only teeth and claws, and man was prey.
At night he feared the darkness, in it lurked the teeth of the wolf and the claws of the lion.
Fire came to hold back the darkness; chipped flint became man's claws and teeth.
Prey no longer, now the hunter.
Copper, then bronze replaced stone and man turned his claws on man.
Civilizations built with blood-stained metal, the teeth of the State shaped by the hammers of smiths. Edge and point now the law, caste and status cannot change.
To be free is to own a sword.
Iron became steel, by the sword kings conquered.
With steel, war flowed from factories as cannons and rifles but the blade remained the warrior's friend. Saber, knife and bayonet always ready when guns fall silent.
The glinting shine of artificial claws and teeth, a reminder of being food for beasts.
Civilization built with stone, mortar and brick but rooted in tools that sever and pierce.