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Blood Ivory


We once numbered twenty-six million.
Now we stumble in at under
five hundred thousand.
We did not own our lives. We were
trophies for white men, cue balls and piano keys.
Trinkets and hair combs. Our massive bodies left
to rot in the hot African sun.

You summed us up for your utilitarian purposes
You were the angry ant-like killers of
of the great African Beast.
Who is the great evil now?
Who is the jackal? Who has a blood greed?
Who will kill mere children? We are asking.
We thought you had the gift of intelligence.
Of speech. What is your defense?


We use our tusks for greetings
when we see our Mothers, Sisters,
its our way of meeting.
We use them as you would use your hands.
Something we thought you might understand.
But you do not.


And did you know, like you, we grieve...
and remember the deaths of those we loved
and have left us long long ago?
We memorize their bones.
Recalling the times and places of their demise
in ways you could not conceive.
And yes we weep. Like humans.


We feel even through our feet and can hear and
relay messages for miles and miles. We protect one
another in danger like any Mother would a child.
But then you saw that when you drove us mad and
wild and shot us down, all.


A few of us froze at first in disbelief and fear.
Then we crowded round our children as you drew near
with AK-47's and rocket-propelled grenades, as you
dismounted from your horses,
laying down among our dead families, then praying
to Allah.


We were one family of fifty going down as one.
Our corpses scattered, Mothers and Sisters
laying down near the small bodies of the
very young. You knew we would stick together
even as we ran.

But you, are just the middle men.
Its the religious we have a problem with. Those who are
false to Mother Earth and Mother Africa.
They are wrong. Their faith misinforms.
Buddha does not smile. The elephant does not
willingly give up her tusks and life
for the happiest of all, in blood sacrifice.
All is done for the good and the blessings of the faithful.

We are the Mothers.
We don't understand your willful
ignorance of our need for bliss.
Dear Buddha you are not merciful.
There is no goodness in what you take from us.
My Blood and My Kind's Extinction
stain the perfection of its artisan's ivory.
It is in your every holy bow and kiss.

 
Your art signifies nothing.
No accomplishment is achieved. Every fine
detail is fully grieved.


Oh, false self-aggrandizing faith.
Where is the veneration of the Elephant?
More a testament to man's peacockish pride.
And the true nature of what's inside.
 
The air is sucked out. Like the arid desert
during a drought on an African plain. Beyond comprehension.
The air has captured my voice as I read the article
about Blood Ivory again.
The lost elephant ghosts are still trumpeting in horror
in Cameroon's Bouba Ndjidah National Park.
If I had Children, what would I tell them
about the Elephants. Not a bedtime story,
but more a nightmare told in the dark,
a place I would, too,
like to flee.

There is an Elephant in me.



I am still in shock. National Geographic Article October 2012
PBS Special Investigative Report Blood Ivory 25,000 elephants killed
last year. I am frozen inside and out.

"Everywhere everywhere they are crowded out while we are crowded in, oh
what a sin. " Quote from one of my poems.
We are crowded in by our greed and our need need need for too much. When less is more.


Copyright February 27, 2013. All Rights Reserved by This Author
Melissa A Howells Meloo Tilt-a-World
For Lilly....let's hope there are places for new baby elephants in other
places than in the zoo.


In regard to the slaughter of the elephants and the mention
of the persons responsible being Muslim. That is merely factual
as it relates to what did happen. I have NO personal qualms with
anyone of Islamic faith. But I do believe elephants are sacred.
And I do think there is something to what Albert Schweitzer
believed in...which is in the sanctity of all life.







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