Elephant day at the Zoo

Zoo’s are not the answer
They are prison for the crime
Of wanting to have freedom
And there really is no rhyme
Or reason to imprison them
To educate our young
Trying to make a profit
And remain unsung
Wild animals exist
In their own habitats
Essential nature
Is of course the way
Enduring and surviving
They live where they were born
They all live for each moment
Of each day

Wildness is their saviour
It builds their state of mind
A life long learning attitude
Always they will find
Their state of health
Is manifest
In what they drink and eat
They live as they were born to live
For them life is complete
Man’s dealing with the wild ones
Lacks a lot of understanding
Arrogance is commonplace
With ignorance expanding
Captivity the imprisonment
Of creatures of the wild
Taken from their social order
Many as a child
Such cruelty the evidence
For anyone to see
Matriarchal knowledge
Flowing evidently
Wildness is the universal
Tonic they adore
Captivity breaks every rule
Its something they abhor
Besides a business model
Of profitability
When all ones stock
Is living in their cells
Stressed out and having lost
Their only antidote for life
Locked up in some mangy cage
Where boredom leads to strife

Life becomes matter of fact
Or fictional in a way
The rhythm of wild spaces
On any given day
Lost ofcourse to concrete
To monotony and routine
Devised by human personnel
That truthfully does demean
Its then just regularity
Everything is arranged
You eat what you are given
And thats hardly ever changed
Its a far cry from our family life
Our social worlds away
It is unrealistic
And diverse I have to say

The symbiotic reasoning
To actually want to be
Alive and facing wildness
Head on fancifully
Is missing there is conflict
In the soul
Ambivalence and disparity
You havent got a role
Chains around your feet
A small enclosure only you
Restricted and conflicted
In what you choose to do
Your generous proportions
Crammed into a small space
Having to walk on concrete
It easy to lose face

The smell of men is foreign
We lose the right to see
And interact with others
And bond remarkably
Its unashamedly obvious
Living every day
Being treated like a criminal
Locked up and made to pay
They are lightweights
Making lots of noise
One sweep and they are gone
Puny fragile delicates
Who foist themselves upon
Our being half expecting
That we will knuckle down
And do what ever is expected
In humanity we drown

The zoo is just a prison
Bars and cages everywhere
There is no panorama
Just walls leading to despair
No wind no rain so sunlight
No mud baths with our friends
Detached from mother nature
And truthfully it sends
All of us stir crazy
Our rank is broken by
The systems and the standards
And the regimented high
That comes with translocation
It dislocates ones thought
We are really being tampered with
Not something that we sought

What is our nonconformity
New age travellers so to say
Following the matriarch
She always knew the way
Imprinted in her matter grey
The water holes and places
Where favourite fruits and lush green leaves
Were worth our uphill paces
Mopani Ramadiba
And old Lammie we are here
In joburg zoo its hot its true
All of us do fear
The bullhooks and the whipping sticks
I know we are huge and could
Slaughter any mahout
And some of us we would

But what we do is settle
Remember every face
One day we will reward them
Send them back to base
Our memories are long ones
Zoo’s are places where
All those in captivity
Are living with despair
We came from the circus
Both wild caught so we
Can remember life at home
With our family
The long walks and the
The circus and the tricks
The bullhooks and the
I would have knocked for six

Some of those rough handlers
And the intermittant way
They feed us and they water us
On any given day
Sweltering in the hot sun
The enclosure dusty too
There is no water in the pool
The infrequency its true
It really does get to us
Flapping our ears we do
But we need water in the pit
To endure is to be true
Long standing on the concrete
Really hurts our feet
Our weight is not in conflict
But i tell you I am beat

Powerless and impotent
Such vulnerability
Inactive for hours on end
Fatigued of course we be
Dormant sluggish vegetating
For the eternity
Influenced by dominance
The keepers carry weight
Brandishing their bullhooks
We soon accept our fate
There isnt any interplay
No calves around to aid
No happiness to speak of
Being the stock in trade
The zoo is making money
From inviting people to
Pay to come and watch us
Living in the zoo

They think they are a circus
Making us do tricks
No respect whatsoever
Just a bunch of dicks
Who come along and shout at us
And throw buns and even rocks
And when we are not servicing their point of view
The locks
Are heavily engaged and clearly
We know the time has come
This is life here in the zoo
Someone bang a drum
Wake us from this melancholy
This over sensitivity
To everything that happens here
For Its hell on earth for them and me

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