by Ethel Mortenson Davis

The local people say,
don’t walk out in the wilderness
unless you carry a gun,
because of large predators
and wild dogs—

dogs turned loose
in the desert, abused and neglected.
Now in the hundreds of thousands,
they pack up
to find food and survive.
They kill elk and cattle,
and people—
a man in his fifties.

Children abused
And neglected
join gangs in order to survive.
In order to live—
they kill people.


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, Photography, Poetry

15 responses to “Gangs

  1. A poetic exploration of one of lifes painfully sad truths.

  2. CLUES

    We find the same patterns
    of Nature repeating
    everywhere we go.
    Intelligent design?

  3. How interesting Ethel! I had not really thought of dogs, abandoned, joining up into packs in this way but – now that you put the image in front of us – yes, I have seen this in one or two remote parts of Europe. More interesting still, of course, is the analogy you present with unloved, almost feral, children. It is very true, and painfully sad, and your poem makes the point so forcefully.

  4. What a contrast, wonderfully put too… it made my bones turn!

  5. Wow, what expression of pain and survival!

  6. That is so true, what are we doing to the generations to come??

  7. A sad sign of the times, it seems – and you’ve expressed it so eloquently.

  8. Caddo Veil

    Wow–this is sharply and accurately done.

  9. I have read of dog packs in New Hampshire and Vermont, I am sure that just like wild Mustangs any animall will return to its nature. Dogs are simply Canis Lupus, Although I would fear the gangs of LA and MYC more than the packs of wolves in Yellostone, they kill for to eat, the former kill for the hunger of the soul …

  10. The picture speaks volumes and your stanzas do too…

  11. Anna Mark

    This poem causes me to critique the ways in which we (society) turn people into creatures even less valued than dogs, for it is even worse for a human to kill a human. This is a very stark and fierce image of humanity.

  12. I have mixed feelings on this issue. People can makes choices to do right or wrong; however, sometimes there environments don’t allow for that. Young people are not strong enough to make decisions that go against peer pressures, and once “indoctrinated” find it difficult to break free. One thing is for certain… it is a viscious cycle.

  13. Marcus Aurelius said that the root of criminality was poverty. Very worthy post for this Child Abuse Awareness Month!

  14. How sad that any living creature is abandoned to find any way, and often a most vicious way, to survive.

    Certainly violence does breed violence. What a powerful poem about this all too prevalent problem.

    (I appreciate how you do not differentiate between killing an animal or ‘a man in his fifties’…)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s