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The Elephants At The Zoo

The elephants at the zoo, lumbering in their cells, like deadwood floating downstream, where the mouth is closed. When kids arrive they put on a show. It brings them minute happiness to see the smiles, hear the laughter and to look into the eyes of freedom.

As the day moves on, it's a blur, as the sunny disposition is weathered and fake. Each movement of the trunks, calculated, silenced and each passing face, a tear.

Such sadness their eyes
Windows wide open to see
Pantomimes of hope

Logan Robertson

Each trip to the zoo, storybook. There's a tale to tell. Even those in silence,
Peyton L Sep 3
As I inspected the witch's cottage,
my gaze fell upon a curious looking
jar on a shelf.
It was full of eyes.

The witch noticed, or sensed,
my discomfort
and simply said,
"The eyes contain the soul."

For the rest of the day,
I sat on the creaking floor
and examined each eye.
They appeared to be glass,
but I knew that was likely a rouse.

So, with kitchen cleaning gloves
I fished the next eye out of
the Mason jar and lifted it up to my own.

It was about as large as the others,
but molten honey colored,
and the iris took up so much space,
while the pupil was very small.
I turned to the witch, the eye still in hand.

"What kind of eye is this?" I asked,
showing the eye to her.
She pried it out of my grasp and felt
all over it, her eyes closed.

"It belonged to an elephant." she said,
handing it back to me.
Upon seeing the look on my face, she clarified,
"It died of natural causes, and I never ask for them.
They find their way to me."

I considered this.
"What other kind of eyes do you have?"
The witch smiled, and led me into another room,
full of jars on shelves.
This time they were organized, labeled with
the name of the creature.

Mouth open in awe,
I looked around the room in wonder.
The eyes ranged from human,
to elephant, to squid.
There were so many different sizes
and colors.
The labels told me the creature,
and some of them I had never heard of.

"Do they really hold the soul?"
The witch nodded.

"Each of these eyes belonged to a different living being,
who is now gone.
Their eyes, or souls, rather
find their way to me.
I keep them safe until the soul is ready
to be used in a vessel again."

I frowned.
"So, one day, all these will be gone?"
She nodded again.

"And a new set will take its place."
The witch patted the top of my head
with her weathered hand.
"Someday, you'll be the one to watch over
the souls.
It'll be up to you
to keep them away from harm."

Carefully, I put the elephant's eye
in the jar and ******* the lid closed.

Now I wait for my turn
to keep the souls safe.
Mark Wanless Aug 7
i saw the elephant
in the room
it was me
ALesiach Jul 27
All the animals have come to play,
before you gently rest your head.
They have been waiting all day,
to see you before you to go to bed.

The bunny excitedly jumps around,
wiggling his nose, not making a sound.
The teddy bear, a faithful friend,
hopes the friendship will never end.

The lion awakens from his slumber,
his growl as loud as thunder.
The panda eats his bamboo,
thinking he is lucky to have found you.

The frog with his body of green,
jumps on the bed with dangling feet.
Do not forget the elephant with floppy ears
for drying up your tiny tears.

ALesiach © 11/6/2014
The uniVerse Aug 2015
Maybe I needed words to confirm
whisper them when it's your turn
mouth me from across the room
is the same as I love you
deceive me with mammals
as I play piano
pouring my heart upon the keys
do with me as you please
"I'm yours, I'm yours"
rings out the chorus
the deafening silence
of love unrequited.

A boomerang that doesn't come back
a runaway train on broken tracks
maybe I should have held onto words
not listened to the singing birds
that told me you felt the same
how could I believe your heart was tamed
for I am no ringmaster
a gazelle that's wandered into foreign pastures
I was your prey
yet I was bold
for the words I say
are seldom told
with such earnest longing
so behold
Where are you big elephants and fluffy bunnies?
Where are you sly foxies and happy butterflies?
Where are you funny hedgehogs and night owls?
Where are you all?
Where did you go?
I miss you all!!!
Kait Feb 28
The two creatures are coworkers;
They perform the same job.

The two received their paychecks;
The elephant let out a sob.

She had gotten a glimpse of the rhino's,
out of the corner of her eye.

And the disbelief and unfairness
was enough to make her cry.

He made twenty cents more than her;
Although, they performed the same work.

Her coworker too was shocked;
He decided to not act like a ****.

He demanded they see their boss,
to make a case for higher pay.

Their boss seemed amused,
and only had one thing to say:

"Elephants are not rhinoceros,
thus I do not see the problem.
But if you have any serious inquiries, Mr. Rhinoceros,
I would be happy to help you solve them."
I've recently studied the pay gap, and this was born from my mind. The ridiculousness of such a thing just seemed to belong in a short story-like poem with animals for comical effect.
On elephant’s back,
Mahout tenuously perched,
Swoon over moon!
Jim Davis Nov 2018
He came as an orphan
June 26th, 1865
Having seen
the death of his mother
Chased and speared by a hunter

First African elephant
in Europe
At the London Zoo
All alone
in all of Europe

How he broke and wore his tusks
In the iron of his enclosure
In night pain from toothaches
From many rotten teeth
Caused by his only grass hay diet

Given whiskey and beer to calm
Shared with his keeper
Matthew Scott, a difficult man
With no close friends
But with a deep empathy for animals

Who drank whiskey
with Jumbo
Into the late, lonely night
Jumbo liked whiskey, beer
and lots of sticky buns

A problematic elephant
With a Jekyll and Hyde character
Sold for 2,000 pounds
To PT Barnum
as a star attraction

Jumbo tearing his chains away
Then sitting like a mule
Until he knew his keeper
Would also ride the boat
Across the big pond

Barnum’s Scott
Made a deal
Queen Victoria wasn’t happy
Her children had sat
And rode upon his back

Jumbomania in America
Accompanied his arrival
20 million saw him alive
Brooklyn bridge opened in 1882
A year before Jumbo arrived

Then 17 May, 1884
Twenty elephants
marched across
All the way to Brooklyn
led by Jumbo

The bridge vibrated and rebounded

In St Thomas, Ontario, Canada
was his suffering demise
The day the circus train came to town
Tom Thumb and Jumbo
Were waiting to get loaded

Perhaps bumped in the ****
By the speeding freight locomotive
Internal bleeding
and a slow death
Tom Thumb only a broken leg

Jumbo in a slow death
Scott in a slow death afterwards
Having witnessed
the last breath
Of his best friend

Photographed (a recent novelty)
just after his death in B&W
Poor dead Jumbo
Scott at his head
Weeping inconsolably

Although PT Barnum
In pure PT Barnum invention
Says Jumbo ran headfirst
Into the freight locomotive
To save his keeper and Tom Thumb

Jumbo died
at twenty-four
still young
and growing
in size and girth

His stuffed mounted skin
burned at Tufts University
except the unbroken bones
plus the end of his tail
“And this is what remains of Jumbo”

Yesterday, I saw wild elephants on the banks of the Zambezi river
near Victoria Falls
Tomorrow I’m hoping to touch Jumbo’s bones in New York City
And walk the Brooklyn Bridge

©  2017 Jim Davis
Jumbo in Swahili means Hello

Written on an UAE Emirates flight from South Africa to New York.  With all credit due for words and most phrasing to David Attenborough’s documentary.  
“Attenborough and the Giant Elephant”

A few years ago, I heard Barnum and Bailey stopped having elephants as part of their shows!
I really wondered why!
Now I really know!
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