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Friday, October 29, 2010

In the Jungles of the Heart

for Sarah K

Via the hyperlink
You sent me yesterday
I saw this video clip
Of a captive lion
Who through the bars of his cage
Gave capacious embrace
To his indigenous savior

This being no mean trick
Accompanied by a typically
Incoherent news report
I imagined the back story
Of this noble beast
Enslaved by some Colombian drug lord
And then for reasons obscure
Perhaps as the federales
Pressed in was cut loose
To fend for himself
A monarch exiled
An ocean or two
Away from his
Original realm

Surely any king
Would likely starve
Finding himself thus deserted
And dethroned
If not for the apparition
Of a savior of last resort
Passing through the forest
In act of loving kindness
To the animal shelter brought
The starving lion and
To good health it restored

And to see the lion thus
Embrace its maiden savior
Is to know gratitude
Is not to humanity confined
But as with other feelings
Thus refined
They're equally shared
By us with animalkind
We have such likeness undeniable
Being all sisters and brothers
From the Pekinese tossed
Roughly to the curbside
To the raven proudly sporting
The tools she has made

And thus we all
Grieve over our
Respective Edens
And savannas lost
And dream of lifetime restored
To our full natural glory
Instead of living out
Until the end of days
Being everywhere confined
By this widening pall

If and when the day comes and
It's our turn to be struck
By hunger and despair
Whether in dark forest solitude
Or a cage of our own making
Much better that we remember
There's a Natural order
That overlays the statutes
By which we humans aspired
The entire world to enslave

And by standing upright
We all may better clasp the bars
That have kept us apart
Almost embracing
Each other
Skin to skin
Lions and humans
We're creatures akin
To each other beholden
And it’s the same love
That rules the jungle
Inside every beating heart

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