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Tessa Nilo (extinction stinks)

Little flow of life that she was

her shady trunk of leaf by my side,

the flaming green shoot of her joy-

body slashed, burned and trampled

butchered by a bite of poacher bullets;

My womb of volcano-flowered soil

wasting, rotted as maggoty meat.


the meranti rains that never return,


the meranti seeds that spill un-reborn


a motherly tail whisks in vain at dead air


the pull, the tug of her still there, still there...

In the heat-heavy shadows of forest nights

lingering, I saw you asleep and defenseless,

stream in stars, mingle animal by moonlight,

my tickle of trunk to your hand, her caress...

What is it, this greed for me, insatiable need for me

that made meat of her, that is daily consuming you?


The Sumatran elephant is on the Red List of Critically Endangered species. Between 1985 and 2007 50% of the species died. In the last 25 years 69% of their habitat has been destroyed.

The Tessa Nilo National Park in Indonesia is the last area of wild forest large enough to support an elephant population.

The Meranti tree is a critical part of the forest eco-system but itself is in high demand as a source of timber.

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