Friday, August 31, 2012

Last Elephant Standing. Updated with pictures.

Poaching of elephants, for their tusks to supply Asian demand for ivory, is threatening the existence of elephants on this Earth. In 1979 anywhere between 1.3 million to 3 million elephants inhabited large areas of Africa. Now less than 600,000 remain, and poaching is increasing.

How long before the last wild elephant walks the savannah?

Last Elephant Standing.
Words and Photos by Jim McIntosh.

I'm going where my sisters wandered
where spreading Amarula tree
shaded all my mother's mothers
there, ancient memory calls me.

I'm going where cattle now wander
where shady trees have long disappeared
where cool clear waters of my memory
now no longer will be shared.

I wish I could find all my sisters.
I wish for one of my kind to share
this loneliness that I carry.
Maybe I'll find my family there?

Where I'm going danger seeks me
where I tread I must beware
every step is placed so gently
not to spring the poacher's wire snare.

Even our old migration pathways,
beaten hard by a million treads,
ploughed and planted with sweet maize treats,
should I enter I'll be speared.

Where I'm going cool clear waters
are no longer to be shared.
Shady trees are no longer standing,
only danger awaits me there.

I wish I could go see my mother
I wish I were no more alone
but now the world has turned against us;
my family just dust and bone.

I'm going where cool clear waters
of my memory once flowed where
all my family are now gathered,
and I will sleep forever there.


1 comment:

Red Nomad OZ said...

Your poetry is so beautifully thought provoking - I wonder when it will be published off-line??!!