Private Plains Ape
version one point one

Private plains ape

We dress like one another
I look at you, you look at me
That's how we decide
Who we're going to be

What's up, brother?
We look just like one another.
You move like this
and I see it like that
We both line up for mother

Private plains ape

We talk like one another
You listen to how I speak
I listen to how you talk
We make sure we think the same

Look at that face
You know you know what he's thinking
He moves like that, she feels like this
They comfort one another

Private plains ape
We move like one another
it is the way we can all tell for now
that we're safe enough to be around

Look over your shoulder
and keep that home in style
You saw me stand up
I saw you sit down
We join and check the others

Private plains ape
We all do it a little different
We do the same things differently
But take our cue to decide who we're gonna be

We surely eat like one another
and like the same foods
cooked the same ways
or with our special recipes
to set us apart at the supper

Private plains ape
an eye always on those nearby
Don't go too far
Don't stay too back
Occupy the space of who you're gonna be

Private plains ape
Carefully uniformed to set
apart while you fit in
right here next to us

When the new thing comes along
no matter how old it is
Someone out front plays it loud
to see how we all react to it
Did it fly? Was that too much?
Tone it down a bit? Stay near to touch?

There's always someone, that one in a hundred -
Doing what people just like them do
Bring a difference, strike an edge
defining exactly where the borderline is

With a gambler out on our left flank
and a fuddy-duddy to the right rear
We know where we stand
We know who we are
We're "ok", you and me
Private plains ape

The ones that stray too far =
Outflank us, drift away -
are far too dangerous to keep around
to humor even for their own sake

The ones that tear the hems of this
carefully bound and sewn garment
must be completely disrobed and
separated from our normalcy

Private plains ape

The careful definition
These boundaries of decency
Decency and responsibility
to play each others' mirror
Depends entirely on enough of us
playing along to perpetuate our
agreements not to kill each other

Take them away and we truly know no mercy
Without these ropes we do not know ourselves
Lost in space, lost in time, lost our place and show
Uncover fear and watch it boil as so many
Feel abandoned and cheated
Better to keep wearing those uniforms

Private Plains Ape

From place to place and time to time
These rules - these reflections - do surely change
But the mirrors themselves, the camouflage,
The safety in numbers
Remain the same everywhere in every time

Private plains ape

And some -
 Some rise up -
 Some stand above the rest
Some lead
 Some fall hard
 But we quickly label their quest
And some -
 Who taste the air
 They do not come back, not ever
If they did
 We'd kill them
 For they threaten our every mirror

And when I move my eyes like that
You feel you know just what I mean
And a hand like this, my lips apart
You think you know just how I feel

Experience is not shared and the same for all
You just try to reduce it to that for peace of mind

Private plains ape

You like to claim "we're all the same"
Way deep down inside, but really
We are just horrifyingly empty
and filled with echoes of those we killed

And when the claims collide, when the
rules seem too obviously arbitrary
War we must, and kill again, and kill again
Make martyrs of our heroes,
in their bodies or in their minds

The sacrifice we demand is far beyond
Any we would dream of making - we cower
in our caves at night and trust
in those who pretend to control our fire

We hold those who give up all most dear
Especially when they're gone. And dead
heroes are the best kind of all. They cost
us little and give so much once they are gone.

Dead heroes are the best to worship
Since they can't demand any more of us
Dead heroes are simple to prop up
SInce they'll mirror anything we want for us.

Private plains ape


filename = private_plane_v1.htm
printed 26 November 2022
© Huw Powell