26 March 2011

we are we

The disappearance of our world
imprinted in our faces
echoes in kindred cages
in labs across the states.
Can’t you see yourselves in me?
Can’t we be a we?
Living side by side and free
human and chimpanzee.
Open all the cages
provide a sanctuary,
with birds, and chimps, and bonobos
it’ll be an ape-iary.

Thank you to Donna Vorreyer at the Poetry Tow Truck for the picture of a chimp she took in the Kibale forest of Africa. This is my first posting for PTT (thanks for the tip, Pamela!). This week Donna provided several pictures she took on vacation in different places. I chose the picture above. We were prompted to let the picture take us "to a place far away from the everyday." 

There is a place I’ve only visited on the Internet, The Northwest Chimp Sanctuary. It is located in Washington state. The picture Donna took, and the chimps who live at the sanctuary inspired this piece. Give them a visit; the site provides bios. Teachers, this is a good place to take your students. It engenders discussion about humanity’s use of animals, and compassionate responses. If you are interested in further reading on the exploitation of bonobos, try Sara Gruen’s book The Ape House. She keeps delivering masterful tales. If you love to cry during a good read, The Ape House won’t disappoint.


Anonymous said...

It would make more sense for a monkey house to be called an apeiary, than it does for a beehive to be called an apiary lol :)
Great message though..

flaubert said...

Oh, how I love this, Brenda. The continued abuse of animals is so disheartening. Laboratories, the city streets, etc ... Thanks for the link, I will go check it out:) and I will also see if I can order the book.


brenda w said...

~Words, Imagine as well, that an ape-iary can buzz with activity like a hive. :)
Pamela~ Gruen also wrote Water for Elephants, another great story. It involves the life of a man and a circus elephant. Using animals for experimentation is controversial, but (ab)using them for entertainment, or worse yet cosmetic testing is reprehensible. People need to get over themselves.