Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"For all in tents . . ." a poem

I've been carrying the first one and a half lines of this poem in my head for decades!  Then, when Angie and I were on our sailboat Escapade in the mid Eighties, we had an experience that began to add life to them. We were motoring down the intra-coastal waterway past Marine World when we saw two porpoises making a streak in the water past us.  We fantasized that they were making their break for freedom.  The idea continued to percolate and finally came together as a poem while we were traveling in Newfoundland a couple of summers ago.

For all in tents
and porpoises and whales
kept captive for our delight
I apologize.
Nor do I think it right
to discriminate
against beasts of the field,
although there may be some debate
about the food we eat--
I love my meat.
But it makes me sad
to see hogs and cattle
stuffed into pens like sausages.
I would rather we take
just what we need
from all the gods have given--
that would be heaven!
We have grown too many,
but at the least
I will take my pleasure
from seeing the beasts
where they freely roam
in their native home--
or not at all.

Jim George

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