From birth it took you
nearly a year to learn to walk,
but within hours from exiting the womb
I could run!
When I stood for the first time,
my mother kicked me over.
I stood again,
on my new born legs,
and then she kicked me down again, and again,
until I learned to move
in this (our) habitat inhabited with predators...
who will prey on anything to survive,
regardless of its size;
Born six feet long,
now I stretch to eighteen feet tall;
weighing four thousand pounds,
clothed with gold and black patches,
(beyond merely eye-catching).
I emit my body heat, through these (intricate) spots.
I can swat bugs off my head
using only my eighteen inch blue tongue,
with which I grab past thorns at Acacia leaves
while grazing at home in the savanna.
And, I can sleep while standing,
atop the continent of Africa.
Yes, (like you) we giraffes come from somewhere.
But you people take your pictures,
and file us in zoos,
dissecting our dead to find parts you can use...
Is that all you think I am?
Just a resource? Some thing of Yours?
This is not instinctive
but how you choose to be,
how you treat all species,
all too often...your own,
calling people, "human resources."
using them as tools
in (the) pursuit of more...resources...
But I am no guest in Your home.
WE are BOTH visitors here,
sharing this experience on a globe,
sealed in by ozone,
with polar ice caps,
both of which are melting like pop-sickles
in your (burning) haphazard stewardship.
The glaciers drip,
the rivers drain,
the soil dries,
the forests fry,
and species die,
while beneath electric lights
you humans waste away
inside the coffin-homes you think keep you safe,
lock and key from your mistakes.
Who are you kidding? (Are you insane?)
are the ones
created in the image of God,
then God, who’ll work on a cure?
After so much evolution,
you humans digress
failing to make the natural selections.
If you take us (giraffes) away,
the Acacia ants leave,
and the elephants destroy the Acacia trees.
If you take us (giraffes) away,
the ticks lose their host,
and Tick-birds struggle to find a food source.
You are killing our planet.
But why would you want to do that?
It's so nice here!
And though my brain may only carry half the weight of yours,
my heart is two feet long and far stronger
than the excuse for a muscle caged behind your ribs,
its size ironically the same as your fist.
Try using your head...
...and your ears...
to hear the whispers and cries of Earth's body language.
We are singing one song
in the deepest muddy water blues,
that if you listen, you will find
written in your skin:
The verse tells the tragedy of being consumed.
The bridge chants the comedy that "wild life continues."
And the chorus sings a fairy tale of being renewed...
Every creature plays its part,
sending its message.
has been just one of mine.
Not yours, truly,
released October 7, 2013
Recorded by Mike McGee. Produced by Mike McGee and Garret Potter
Thank you - Giraffe.
Garret Potter has come from nine states and Japan to find himself a familiar name in the international Poetry Slam
community. He is cursed with consideration which he has learned to turn into gifts: heart-pounding, mind-delving inquiries and observations on vulnerability, community, and sustainability—poems. He likes moments with new people, movies, and food, old friends, books, bikes, and forests...more