Poetry – Gorilla – an elegy to the inevitable demise of a relative of ours.

Poetry – Gorilla – an elegy to the inevitable demise of a relative of ours.


We share ninety nine per cent of our genes with the chimpanzees and gorillas. They are the closest relatives we have left after we eradicated our fellow human Neanderthals.

They are sentient, intelligent and peaceful. We are sentient, intelligent and ruthless.

They are hunted for bush-meat. Their babies are prised away from their dead mothers and sold. Their hands and feet are hacked off and sold as trophies.

The forests they live in are opened up with logging roads for the hunters to exploit; then the trees are sawn down to leave bare soil.

Their numbers decrease and the destruction is relentless as our numbers soar and greed, selfishness and necessity create a tsunami that is rolling over nature.

It fills me with hopeless despair.


Ninety nine per cent of us

Living wild and free;

Tight-knit family –

How we’d like to be.


Wandering, playing at ease

As they roam around.

Eating, watching

Secure in their ground.


Around them trees are tumbling

Sounds of chain-saws whir;

Disturbing peace,

Shivering the fur.


Yet it could be a sly shot

To snag easy meat,

Snatching a baby –

Chopping trophy feet.


Encroaching ever nearer


Cruel destruction

Writings on the wall.


Opher 16.7.2015

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