Friday, February 22, 2013

Serengeti Morn

Wildebeest during the Great Migration, Wikipedia


One million years and more
we have been crossing the great plains,
trekking to water in dry season,
returning to grassland with the rains.

We follow the route of ancient times,
leopard and lion at our heels,
crocs in the river at our ankles,
how intense their hot breath feels!

Two Leggeds encroach in all directions,
fence us off on every side,
feel entitled to the water
for which so many of us have died.

Our once connected landscape
crossed with the message: "This is mine".
We die against the fencing
watching the water trapped  behind.


On this Serengeti morn,
fresh as when all time began,
we trace an ancient pathway
here before fences of man.

Hannah at Real Toads has offered us another wonderful Transforming Friday challenge: to write in the voice of a creature of the desert. I have long ached for the wildebeest of the Serengeti, who are programmed to follow a migratory route now interrupted by miles of fences and roads. Many of them, who cant find an entry through the fencing, die looking across at the water they have traveled so far to find. Tens of thousands of them are poached also, the usual story of man taking what he wants without care for the balance of life. Sigh. I first attempted a pantoum but the lines didnt work for the message. So I borrowed the general rhythm of it, and switched things around to suit myself. 

Do check out the others who link at the Toads site. There are bound to be some amazing writes today!


sources:
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0016370

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wildebeest

19 comments:

  1. Hard to read, heartbreaking to know animals die for lack of water ... fences as executioners. I also thought of fences this morning ... glad to know I am in good company.

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  2. A tale hauntingly told in the voice of the wildebeest. So it is. Your construction is lullaby-like which adds to the horror.

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  3. I love the images and the feel of this, it certainly cries out the message.
    I love the line we trace an ancient pathway

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  4. What an absolute tragedy! Really moving write, Sherry.

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  5. I also feel very sad about these kinds of situations that seem to exist more and more. Makes me want to be out there cutting fences.

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  6. What a sad tale this is, Sherry! You shared the plight of the wildebeest well. Man so often is very heartless in treatment of such animals as this! When will we learn?

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  7. I'm speechless with a lump in my throat from this. I didn't know, and now I want to join in the liberation.

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  8. I too feel really sad! Gosh, I am going with Peggy and cut fences~

    Thank you Sherry, for telling it, as it is~ Well Done

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  9. Leave it to us Two-legged-ones to destroy everything we come across. It is particularly heartbreaking when you see these animals thirsting for water, and dying like flies because their precious water is on the other side of electrified fences :(

    Not to make light of this situation, but perhaps the Toads can first travel to Africa, cut fences, free the wildebeest, then come to India and spend some time with me :)

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  10. It pains me more than anything to admit that Africans do not take care of Africa. It is an on-going battle to fight for the preservation of species, habitat and migration zones.

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  11. having visited the Serengeti this really resonates with me, it's an amazing place and feels as if it goes on forever and yet it's a fraction of its original size. wonderful poem which I think the conservationists would happily adopt

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  12. We follow the route of ancient times,
    leopard and lion at our heels,
    crocs in the river at our ankles,
    how intense their hot breath feels!

    Oh Sherry....

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  13. I felt trapped myself ... in that I didn't want to read to the end, but just had to. The comment above that the lullaby rhythm adds to the horror is spot on.

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  14. Sherry...my insides ache with the needless suffering that is caused by mankind. I'm SO glad that you gave the wildebeest a voice here today...you so poignantly balance facts and poetic descriptions...this is a work of art. Thank you. ♥

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  15. Sherry... A part of land in a critical area would be removed from the Park, bisecting it two---can anything be worse than this ill-conceived project...?? We'll lose a priceless part of the world. How sad it is... We must act and conserve unique aspects of the Serengeti that we all hold dear..
    Glad you raised the issue here. Very beautiful piece :)

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  16. Beautiful message Sherry, specially the last two stanzas ~ I find it sad that we are encroaching on their lands and space ~

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  17. I like how your poem beats as your heart does for the Serengeti. I think I know this story, or saw some picture of them.

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  18. Beautifully written Sherry. Very sad. I join you in grief over the deaths of all innocent creatures who are just being natural. So sad that they are taken for granted, killed for fun.

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  19. So beautifully written Sherry...it is so tragic what man has done there. I keep wondering if humanity will wake up...sadly they don't seem to.

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I so appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.
Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!