Order A Poetry of Elephants here:
Price: £ 8 (within UK, postage incl.)
(39pp. Anthology, 31 poets. Paperback.)
(PayPal — or credit card via the “check out as a guest”).
100% of the proceeds from book sales go to
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
[Please send a message to the publisher through the Contact Form if you wish to buy multiple copies or are outside the UK.]
It is a pleasure and privilege to be able to fund the publication of this anthology of poetry compiled by Rebecca Gethin in aid of elephant conservation. The strength of poetry is often overlooked in modern society but it has a strong and ever ready powerful voice at times of need.
The elephant has long been a part of our history and culture, an iconic image of what is strong and majestic, yet gentle and loyal at the same time. Elephants are more like humans than we think and that we should be the biggest threat to their existence for nothing more than trinkets to decorate our homes or ourselves, is unforgiveable.
These are poems that celebrate elephants, some grieving at the prospect of extinction but others showing how their image occupies our everyday life and speech. We hope that it may in some small way help to raise awareness and funds for those who work tirelessly to save these beautiful animals for future generations.
“Without them, the world would be an impoverished place.” (Rebecca Gethin, “A Poetry of Elephants”).
— Valerie Morton, Publisher of A Poetry of Elephants (Nov. 2016)
OUR PROJECT SUPPORTS THE WORK OF THE DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST:
A group of poets have come together to help elephants – a cause they believe in — 100% of the proceeds from book sales of the 2016 anthology A Poetry of Elephants will go to THE DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST.
“Born from one family’s passion for Kenya and its wilderness, The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is today the most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world and one of the pioneering conservation organisations for wildlife and habitat protection in East Africa.”
31 POETS JOINED TOGETHER TO FORM THIS ANTHOLOGY — “A POETRY OF ELEPHANTS”:
Daphne Gloag, Penelope Shuttle, Robert Peake, Simon Williams, Steve Smart, Alison Lock, Shirley Wright, Wendy Klein, Graham Burchell, Kymm Coveney, Jenny Hamlett, Emma Lee, Katherine Waudby, Rose Cook, Valerie Morton, Terry Dyson, Rosie Barrett, Karen Jane Cannon, Lesley Quayle, Karen Dennison, David Cooke, Jean Stevens, EE Nobbs, Sally Douglas, Anna Kisby, Abigail Robinson, Jennifer A. McGowan, Sarah Watkinson, Ian Royce Chamberlain, Caroline Carver and Rebecca Gethin.
Cover artwork / design — by Tara Pandey and Karen Dennison.
Three poems from A Poetry of Elephants :
Letter to the Last Megafauna
My friends, you wouldn’t like it here, moss
squelching underfoot, lean drizzle
tickling your rivulets, bare trees.
We’d give you names like Babar, Dumbo, Topsy,
then shackle your legs for safety (ours),
parade you in a car for entertainment (ours).
Everywhere we go (archaeology shows) the giants
disappear–save you, the last of the mammoths,
eyelid creased with wrinkles, black eye watching.
Some say we compare our manhood to your tusks,
and feel ashamed. I say you remind us of more–
raising clouds like smoke on columnar feet.
We can’t abide your bigness, no matter how slow,
sure-footed. We can’t abide how small we become,
clambering up the city’s skyline to cheat death.
First we trained you to the chain, now rope,
soon a string will keep you in place.
It has come to this: elephant or skyscraper.
My friends, stay put, stay huge, stay bulldozer
slow, uprooting acacia and spurting fountains of mud
at the barrels of cameras and rifle scopes alike.
I write to you from the damp sponge of England,
but red dust swills my nostrils, and sun drums my hide
I could stand upright in the chambers of your heart.
The elephants move early on this road;
up and down their great flat feet
squash the pavement into hard relief.
We wake to their trumpets.
I think it’s the river draws them,
they must drink and wallow
in its green excesses,
slap the dredged mud on their hides.
Every morning they come; bulls,
cows and wild, exotic rogues.
They shake our small room,
rattle at the casement, barge against the walls.
They’re a big herd
and it’s wrong to kill for ivory,
yet, every morning, hunters come
in cars and vans and vast pantechnicons.
I rise at seven thirty,
dress in skins that fit like city clothes
and follow down their trail.
I never see them. The hunters must work fast.
She gave me a string
of rosebuds, cream,
scented with almonds
inherited from an uncle
the plains of Africa.
for my sapling neck
they adorned my doll
Angelina, and when
cord was broken
I placed them in a trunk
where they lay
for years until the day
when a man on the TV
pointed to a carcass;
discarded by poachers.
Tipping over the trunk
I let the ivory beads run free.
from ‘A Slither of Air’, Indigo Dreams, 2011.