Monday, April 8, 2013

Poem of the Day #8


Humans have a way of living in boxes
organizing box-like structures for other species
to live as we do.

Plants are easy.  They don't complain if we arrange
beautiful gardens
and leave them there for our happiness.
Sexual organs flourish as flowers and we can pick them at will.

Who's to say the giant koi aren't happy?
Colorful swimmers, they are well-fed and with their own kind.
The sole white rhino is more difficult.
Hunted for his horn, warning signs are posted outside his area
to remind us of illegal ivory selling
blaming the demand on some far-away bushmen
with insatiable desires to feed their manhood with its magical powers.

The zebras are not running away from the lions
The people here will never hear the ear-splitting roar of the King of the Jungle
The cheetah  naps most of the day.
A teenager asks, "Why are they sleeping all the time?" 
"You would too, if you were in a cage," her friend replies.

The aquarium seems more soothing.
We cannot imagine what it's like to be a fish
and couples have their photos taken with the sharks
and barracudas behind them.

Something primal is in the jellyfish moon tank
lit up in darkness.  They pulse and glow.
No brain, no heart, no organs we argue for when we say human life begins,
yet here they are, surviving in spite of us.

We have done our part to catalog and preserve our fellow creatures
into extinction from wildness.
The elephants sway and toss dust or water on themselves with their trunks.
They grieve, like us, of course.
Why would it be otherwise?

I say goodbye to the four elephants as I ride the train
back to the gardens and conservatory.
The sign reaassured me they have 5.5 acres to roam
and they "sleep under the stars" on summer nights.
We are all born into captivity.

I went to the Albuquerque Biopark for the first time yesterday. Within walking distance from my house.  This poem was forming in my head all day, I just had to write it down.  I admire the gardens and the aquarium and the Biopark is a great part of the city.  The Children's Fantasy Garden is marvelous and enchants the imagination.  I've always felt a bit uncomfortable in zoos, however.

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