Friday, 25 January 2013

The Moses of elephants

with much trumpeting, called together families
of pachyderms: We’re going on a journey.
Beyond the burning bush and luscious forest,
the memory of trees, the bones of loved ones
is another place and I will lead you.

Now we live on salt and thorn, the taste
of sorrow, the promised land a mirage, metaphor.
Awaking to another blasted dawn; the first born
dead, a plague of promises. We will be
carrion, old elephants whisper like law.

Thirsty and yearning for an end to adventure,
there’s nothing in this wilderness but suffering.
Sunbright bones identify our path;
we aim for Eden, with our ears for sails,
across a sea of sand, scratching for sustenance.

From hidden ducts behind our eyes, elephants weeping,
a slow procession, lacking even music. This silence,
the buckling of knees, our young ones cargoes
lost upon the way, all bones and sagging grey:
such sadness can never be forgotten.

The Moses of elephants found an idea of God
and followed without knowing. Faith! He said,
which made it sound important, solid, real.
I believe and you are coming with me.
Parts the sea of doubt with broken tusk.

©  Clare Kirwan

Producer defends a natural tragedy

Clare Kirwan is a Merseyside poet and short fiction writer and hopes to bring out her  first collection this year. By day she works in a library - like Batgirl. Twitter: @ClareKirwan