By Reece Sellers-Mitchell
The Ploughshare Tortoises’ shells are vandalised
By conservationists to save their lives,
Their being marred will make them be tossed aside
By poachers, as only ugliness will save their hide.
The tortoise had to compromise
But the elephants have had to homogenise,
They cannot afford to be long of tusk
Without risking being returned to dust.
Excessive ivory and an elaborate shell
In the wild would serve you well,
But the hunter’s knife annihilates all that excels.
When you dominate nature, why not also violate,
Why observe when you can eradicate.
Think of the crestfallen majesties
Who stare sadly at their deformities,
And the shrinking finery of their bodies,
The reluctantly diminishing ivory
My peers are dulling,
Compromising to avoid culling.
Why let beauty roam free range,
When its corpse can grace your grange.
Like Satan slipping into the lesser Snake
We must tarnish ourselves for our life’s sake,
For our bodies’ architecture you will smash
To get a glimmer of beauty within your grasp.
With my feathers, I’m sticking out my neck
I fear that I, the Peacock will be next.
We proved our worth to carry this bouquet,
A crime punishable by death, for our display.
Like the mocked pictures caught on camera
Of an ageing performer from a fading era.
They were once allowed to show their beauty
On stage for all to hear and to see.
People no longer get a thrill
In just seeing magnificence
For some, the elegance is in the kill
To rip at glamour with insults
At the thing that dares to be dazzling, results
In the Starlets’ receding from public view
And all the head-bowed peacocks greying in hue.
This plumage that we bore
Once commanded all to adore,
Now my feathers have shed to the floor
Where they command no more.