The old beast groans from the depths

With one question

. . . groaning misery

. . . tremors too sophisticated for an ornery beast

A return to ignorance

. . . from whence do these longings for the eternal come?

We have here a consumptive force

A creature is nourished

A creature is consumed

To grow . . . to be devoured

 (a pause)

 The head lowers,

A return to grazing . . .

And in that pause the old beast does not feel beastly

And yet he trembles

. . . for he is a beast

. . . and a pause is not fit for beastliness

We gaze upon this beast and wonder what drives him

Nourishment, growth, copulation

But what of that pause?

. . . a mere fault of mechanics?

. . . a maladaptive tick?

Then why the shock, why the fear?

. . . as we gaze upon the beast

. . . and realize that he is returning our gaze

 (a single pause)

 Consciousness is born . . .

. . . and with it our beast has lost his place in the Cosmos.

Is this pause maladaptive?

. . . surely this is without question

Yet in this very pause we encounter what drives this old groaning beast.