Sunday, December 4, 2011

Should the Taj Mahal to ever face harm?

Taj Mahal, Agra, India. Picture by Jim McIntosh.

Should the Taj Mahal to ever face harm
The world would react in haste.
As rhino are slaughtered to their last breath
Will we react in time?
While man-made beauty can be rebuilt
Mother Nature's we cannot replace.
As we stand in awe of human endeavour
Of Great Wall and stone pyramid
Do we spare a thought that we built them all?
Were they gone, we’d soon fill that space.

The treasures of Nature which abound
For millions of years of time
May soon disappear and not be here
For your children, and those of mine.

Why aren't our governments reacting?
Where is their financial commitment
To the Anti-Poaching Units
And much tougher court judgement?

Temples of Angkor Wat we conserve
Stonehenge and Pisa Tower
Our valuable World Heritage Parks
That every Nation with money preserves.
While tiger sigh, and lion cry
And the elephant trumpets its last
Nature’s gifts are slaughtered and die
For the want of similar status.

When you finally gaze upon the Pearl
Or have the chance to enjoy the thrill
Of the Colosseum at dawn
Pray, spare a thought
Don't you think we aught
Protect the most precious jewels of all?

The reek of a rhino carcass leaves
A stink in my memory veins
But to keep them roaming wild and free
We need to effect great change

That rhino horn is not a medicine for Chinese Traditional Medicine.

 Dead rhino, Imbambala, Loskop Dam Nature Reserve. Picture by Jim McIntosh
The saddest sight from our safari to Loskop Dam Nature Reserve, South Africa. 
I can still 'smell' this scene.

The above poem is based upon a line I came across somewhere, which I remembered and serves as my first line. I'd like to acknowledge the author and thank him, for setting my mind upon exploring the theme. I have no wish to plagiarise.

Why are nations quick to conserve human-built wonders, but loath to commit fully to stopping the trade in endangered species?

There are many conservation NGOs fighting to protect rhino. The last Javan sub-specie has been killed on the Asian mainland.
The last Western Black Rhino has been killed in Africa. 

Dedicated to Dr Clay Wilson, Laura, and all wildlife in peril.



photos by jan said...

Wonderful Jim, just wonderful....

Natasha @ Wandering Kiwi said...

Hey that's really lovely, and profound. Thanks for making us all think.

Jim said...

Thanks Jan. Just hope the Chinese think it's wonderful.

Jim said...

Hope we get over the thinking stage and start taking real action soon Natasha. 2 specie of rhino have gone extinct from their range this year!

JANU said...

Very profound.Nice.

Bret @ Green Global Travel said...

I think we should extend the same protections to animals that we do to people: Who are we to think that we're more important in the grand scheme of things?! If I harm a human, I go to jail. If I kill a human, I go to jail for a long, long time. The same thing should happen for someone who harms or kills an animal. Greed is a poisonous thing...

Absurd Traveler said...

Good point Jim. That picture is so sad. I hope people wake up before it's too late.

Jim said...

Agree to an extent Bret. Problem with rhino horn is the cultural embedded belief in China that rhino horn is a cure-all for almost any ailment, not just for sexual prowess. So we face a real complex problem of trying to change the beliefs of much of the world's population at the same time as they are growing more affluent to be able to pay for rhino horn. That is driving demand. At the other end of the supply chain, poverty is driving the supply.

Deb said...

Beautiful poem Jim. It is heartbreaking and thought provoking and something that everyone should read. I don't understand the human race. We are so cruel and we never learn. But write ups like this, just may reach some people and make people think in a different way. People need to look at things in a different way, from a different viewpoint.

Jim said...

Thanks Deb, and the purpose of writing this in verse is to spread the message in different medium- hopefully it takes the message to other than the usual readers of wildlife reports.
Thanks for the encouragement!

AJ said...

Poignant poetry, Jim. That really puts things in their proper perspective. We can always restore or replace monuments, but we can never create a species that has died out.

Rachel Hoyt said...

Great poem. Strong words. I can smell the scene too through your words and photo.

Michael Figueiredo said...

What a beautiful, powerful poem. The photo at the end is really upsetting. It will be a huge shame if the rhino becomes extinct because of poaching. :(