Silently, invisibly, a gentle wind glances off the ways
of things that seem filled with the intent to be watched
and weighed; the disasters or crimes, set by places and by times,
at war with what can’t be compelled and is often lost.
Conquistadors compounded cultural estates.
Darwin, the Dutch, Wallace & Co, helped themselves
on islands explored. They reached out and effortlessly
wrung the necks of fearless birds as though plucking apples;
as if the trust of the predator-free creatures was begging
to be exploited and to be thanked with extinction.
Renaissance men libelled the gristly dodo, calling them disgusting,
lazy-arsed beasts while guzzling them down to the last one.
For state bounty, the Tasmanian tiger, reigning over the food-chain,
was hunted from its livelihood; the final thylacine expired as
the Nazi holocaust gained ground. In this twenty-first century,
remaining rhinos risk carnage by poachers hacking their cornucopian horns
that leaven medical brews, gild weapons and ornamental figaries.
Evidence they existed; is that enough to palliate the loneliness of
human spirit first prognosticated after mass buffalo slaughters?
Like seeds that need to be constantly watered and lit before sharing
their natures, conditions must be attended to conserve companion species;
in the same way that love, once neglected and bled, can degenerate
to seem like a dead shell, just a punishable collectable thing.
© Caroline Hurley
Natural World: Flight of the Rhino
Flight of the Rhino
Caroline's poems have previously appeared in Poetry24 and they have also been published in The Electric Acorn and threemonkeysonline.com. Clebran.org featured a chapter from her novel and some flash fiction. Her current focus is on young adult fiction and screenwriting. She lives near an Irish bird reserve.