This poem is ostensibly about Elephants and was taken from two articles I read in the paper within the week. One about a circus abandoning an elephant in Russia and the efforts of the local population to save it and the other about an elephant going berserk in America at a circus and the local Sheriff having to shoot it. But also this is about those two great nations and the enormous continent of Africa with its nations as well — and their dependence on these two super-powers.
From Africa's sunny climes our ancestors came.
We wandered green savannahs and loved our children.
Now, with snow white as my tusks, upon the ground —
above, the sky as grey as my old wrinkled hide —
I die alone in a strange land.
I was a clown — a great and ponderous clown
that made foreign children laugh at my antics.
But now they have no place for me
in this new and changing world…and so I die.
My memories, my soul, departs
and all my bones bleached white as snow,
lie buried in this land that is not my own.
The children gave me their sugar —
such little sugar as they had.
One man gave to me an apple,
another a crate of juicy oranges.
But the laughter and joy I gave them — where are they?
The joyous gathering under the circus top
flapping, clapping and cheering under the bright lights
was not enough for these kind folk.
When their time came to save me I was abandoned.
Their handouts came, too late. A Nation's love — too late
and with the wind's icy cold fury in my ears
I dreamed my last dream, shed my last tear and passed away.
While two great countries forged themselves as one
and all the world watched as two leaders smiled
and promised all humanity a better future,
one of us heard my cry of pain.
The sadness of our dying Race welled up from within
and on a sunny Florida day gunshots crashed out
and blood flowed so another of us lay dead and cold
because of fear and knowledge of the brute force of guns.
And so we lie cold and dead though once alive,
once feared by all in our jungle home.
Like our kin that rot upon Africa's plains,
torn bloodily asunder by poaching hands,
our ghosts are doomed to wander this cruel new world
trodden upon by Europe's chosen few.
Predators such as we have never seen,
they bring their greed to bring us to our knees.