Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Ngorongoro Nativity

If you are a Cape Buffalo,
the first thing you do in life
is fall.

For your mother, there is no hospital bed,
no breathing exercises, no Lamaze,
no idiot husband with a video cam.
Stoic, she stands and gives you to the ground.

This stunned moment of grass and hoof-shadow
is the last rest you will get,
Little Runner.

The only other place to lay your head
for the rest of your life,
will be that final hour of stifled surrender
in the lion's mouth.
_______

For dolls, part 2, at Real Toads. This doll was created by Becca Nenow. I don't think she probably intended it to be a Cape Buffalo, but this is how it spoke to me.

And, from Detroit's own...
 

24 comments:

Mimi Foxmorton said...

Powerful.

And I love how the dolls are all speaking......

TexWisGirl said...

ouch! born to a brutal life.

myheartslovesongs.com said...

damn good final stanza, Sis! "stifled surrender" wow!

gotta love Seger!

and i love those dolls! what a cool project!

Kerry O'Connor said...

All too true.. but a Cape Buffalo should not be taken lightly - fully grown they have been known to kill lions. There are clips on Youtube - but not for the faint of heart.

hedgewitch said...

Existing at the bottom of the foodchain is always an uneasy linkage--and there is always something that preys on the weakest and most vulnerable. But as Kerry notes, those that survive have a way of making the predators back off. The third stanza here made me catch my breath.

Margaret said...

Little Runner. Oh, this brings out the mothering instinct that's for sure. This image is so strong I don't think I can erase it to write a piece of my own. Well done!

Lolamouse said...

Life sucks and then you die. Happy Holidays!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

So tender..."Little Runner"......life is harsh in the veld. I didnt know buffalo birthed standing up. I so loved this, Shay.

Kay L. Davies said...

Tremendous in its simplicity and brevity, Shay, almost as if the mother buffalo is speaking to her young.
You are an artist.
K

Helen said...

You are able to hear and see what we don't ... Cape Buffalo, now why didn't I recognize her.

RMP said...

yikes! the end there was really a no-holds-barred. poor little Cape buffalo!

Shawna said...

"Stoic, she stands and gives you to the ground."

I find this to be an incredibly moving and powerful line. It digs deep into all things natural, primal, animalistic. What better subject for poetry is there than the animal world?

Your closing stanza is chilling, but right on.

Mama Zen said...

This is breathtaking. No other way to say it.

Cloudia said...

The wisest
carry
the greatest
pain,
O wise
poetess-



Aloha from Honolulu, my Friend
Comfort Spiral
~ > < } } ( ° >
> < } } ( ° >

Sioux said...

Okay, this my favorite poem of yours...about a Cape Buffalo.

And I've never heard that Bob Seger song.

HermanTurnip said...

Are those cupcakes on its chest? I fear I'm going to have nightmares after seeing that thing.

jasmine said...

By the by, I love the book Mommie Dearest. Creepiest thing ever. Well, other than Flowers in the Attic perhaps.

Susan said...

Imagine that! A regimented life of falling in and falling out, living only if taking a stand. New info for me, allegory of these mean streets of youth in poverty.

Susan said...

PS: the music is a perfect match. Who do we love indeed?

Daryl E said...

hey if you can't stand up .. sit down ...

manicddaily said...

Wonderful poem. Agh.

Joanna Jenkins said...

I didn't know a Cape Buffalo even existed.
You are amazing.
xo jj

Susie Clevenger said...

Wow! You never cease to amaze me. This is telling life as real as it gets.

Lydia said...

Little Runner.....dear god, this just stopped me cold in my human tracks and all I can say is it is one of your very best. A poem I will keep in my top drawer and treasure.