The horror! The horror!

Mingling earth’s air, I lean to listen

for the mystery of soft falling rains

to flow in my heart of darkness,

With love tender in every bristle

curling out through green tendrils

over the blank, un-bordered jungle.


Now You ,

You made in my image, 95% brother

Feel my finger of our skin’s leather.


You who

Shared resources with no more need

Than leaves and roots and trees.


You who

Once brought refreshing rains

Drip-dripping leaf by furled leaf

Now feed me on fruits of poison

And sneak in my home like a thief


Now you

Crackling into the fire-flames,

Fear’s line of smoke and ash

that grows daily closer, closer

Like a snake coil tightening,

Torching through my dreams...


95% brother, my pale-skinned other

There’s room for us two in the bio-dome,

But if the very last of me disappears

I have left a shadow to out-horror

Any encroaching Tarzan or Jane,


you’ll only have yourself, 95% brother

left to meet alone, memoried in pain,

as a blood sun, gorged red by our rage

burns away your water-estuary home,

Mr Kurtz, my brother, my betrayer...


Notes:

The poem updates the Joseph Conrad story 'Heart of Darkness' to modern Africa where in the Congo region, the Western Lowland Gorilla is Critically Endangered because de-forestation, poaching, civil war and the Ebola virus are all threats. In the 1980's the population figure was 100,000. In 2008 it was estimated at 50,000.



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