Thursday, 21 April 2016

it's not my job...





The poachers had been in the park before, in 2010, 
when they killed about a dozen elephants
and two park guards.
This time, they were shooting elephants in far greater numbers,
and in some cases
sawing off the tusks while the animals were still alive.

Elephants are under siege throughout Africa
Demand for ivory is increasing in Asia

ivory cigarette holders, chopsticks,
and even carved miniature elephants.

In Hong Kong,
a pair of carved tusks can be worth two hundred thousand dollars.

Their ivory,
sometimes called hot ivory or pink ivory,
is especially coveted on the illegal market.


Turkalo told me,
“It’s not my job to create security.
My job is to come here every day and observe elephants.”
Standing on the viewing platform,
as the mist lifted after a rain,
she looked out at the elephants
milling around the clearing.

“I’m pretty realistic about what these animals are up against,
their world has become extremely imperilled.
We’re losing the war
to save it."


Poetry form: erasure poetry



NOTES
This poem is based on an article in The New Yorker - May 11. 2015
It's entitled Elephant Watch.



Linking to:
Imaginary Garden With Real Toads - An Elephantine Challenge

11 comments:

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

A very sad state of affairs!

Sanaa Rizvi said...

This is so beautifully written..! Yes we must strive to save these magnificent creatures.

Ellecee said...

Such a sad story, regrettable but true, There is no end to the cruelty some people will do for money, I'm not sure I could stand by and literally watch this happen, but then I don't know of anything I could personally do either.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Agh! It is so painful to read about this crisis of human greed which will just not go away.

Fireblossom said...

This kind of stuff is so very discouraging. Too many people "know the price of everything and the value of nothing."

Hannah said...

Too painful.

Gillena Cox said...

ah such cruelty the shame of humanity; sad in its telling

much love...

De said...

LOVE that this is an erasure!
Sad state of affairs, to be sure.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Argh! "Not my job to save them".............my dreams are going to be haunted tonight. Thanks for spreading awareness, Gemma.

brudberg said...

This is so great to use an article to start with (I love and am haunted by the actual dialogue used)... but maybe the problem of poachers is also mirror other problems for humanity... war and poverty to name a few.

hedgewitch said...

Bald and stark reality here--and our own helplessness before the unending greed that is destroying everything that is of real or spiritual value in our green world--what kind of a species will we be when we have made a place where only machines and men can survive? I don't want to know.

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