Friday, August 25, 2006

271. Elephants

Elephants cavorting
on the floor
could drive other dancers
to the door
because, perhaps,
they are somewhat large,
slightly larger, in fact,
than most Americans:
with delicate tact
they try not to barge
and step upon your toes.
God knows
you’d remember that
(a foot mashed flat)
as they politely strain
to stay with the beat
in spite of the pain
and pulsating heat
and not very much
in the way of feet.

Casual reporting
the serious strands
of elephant thought:
their love of books
their modest demands.
They never catch fire,
not precisely,
assidiously self-taught,
they hardly require
or congratulation,
but want to act nicely,
and politely.
Elephants are serious,
elephants are good,
elephants, understandably,
are misunderstood:
they eat plants, they step around ants,
and behave with perfect PC,
more thoughtful, in fact, than you or me.

Lions and tigers leave them alone,
they have never been beasts of prey:
they are dignified, large, and grey.
And there is this passing rumour
that they have a sense of humour,
they can chuckle at the inside joke,
and especially like the ones that poke
at politics and religion ... O what fun!
It may be true they weigh a ton
but they’re by and large a laid-back folk,
who mull over each and every decision.
Babar, as you may well expect,
is the only Elephant superstar,
he tingles their hearts, both near and far,
(“Le Roi Babar ” gets a lotta respect)!
Talking English is still quite new
dans le Centrale Afrique
so, therefore, only a very few
of younger elephants can speak.
Their elders chide them and repair
to discuss the plays of Moliere,
and trumpetting, rumpetting,
(thank God we’re off the dance floor)
tear apart Voltaire.