Back in 2012 I started writing animal rights poetry. I also created some controversial role reversal art for a project in college, to coincide with the poems. To my shock and delight, both the art and poetry was shared far and wide across the internet. I had a lady from Australia buy a print of ‘the dairy industry’ to hang in her kitchen. In China, my poem ‘If only I could speak’ was made into a song. ‘The hunt’ was shared on Brian May’s Save Me website, and I had work featured in a number of magazines, including Vegan Life magazine and Live A Better Life magazine.
Here are a few examples…
If only I could speak
I have spent my life in this cage,
incarceration is all I know.
The bars clenched tight to my body,
they are my tomb and my home.
Veiled by terror and sorrow,
there is barely room to breathe.
To think of anything but the inevitable end
would be senseless and naive.
I have seen my friends before me.
I’ve heard their gasping breath.
Dragged across the bile stained floor
as they near the valley of death.
Inside I rage and scream,
but externally I cower.
For to draw attention to myself
would closer my final hour.
If this is all I’m good for,
just ceaseless, needless pain;
then why gift me with a life?
Why must I remain?
Can’t you hear our shouts for justice?
Can’t you hear our mournful cries?
Can’t you witness our fear-ridden bodies?
Please God, won’t you open your eyes?
I cannot fathom your reasons,
behind this sickening game.
We all feel hurt and emotions
and our hearts they beat the same.
People who are so eager,
so willing to take a life,
if the tables were turned I’m sure you too
would beg them to drop the knife.
You think you have right of privilege,
to do with us what you please,
because you have left us defenseless,
begging on our knees.
If I could only speak,
then these are the words I would say:
It doesn’t take much to realise
that it should never have been this way.
Give us a chance to feel safe,
let us feel life’s glory.
Look into my eyes,
gaze upon the despair
and please listen to the words of my story.
Below the roots of an oak, be there a family of six.
A mother and her babies who she smothered with love and licks.
To keep them warm and hunger free and safe from imposing danger,
she vowed this with her very heart, and death would be her wager.
And so there came a morning, on which the breeze carried a scent,
of something that made her quiver, for she knew just what it meant.
It was time to show her devotion, and she looked as if to say
“Don’t worry my darlings, at least you’ll be safe. I’ll be seeing you again some day.”
She reared her head from the burrow, her ears tracked the source,
and she listened intently to footsteps, of evil upon its course.
The moment was now or never, and so she buried all despair,
and for the sake and love of her young she leaped out into the air.
Time seemed all so still as she glowered across the divide,
and behold there was man with his weapons, lurking on the other side.
Her stance was proud and ready, for she knew what must be done.
The wind whipped round her tail as they spotted her one by one.
She took a moment to look back at her home, and inwardly she cried,
sadness and joy for the life she had bore and for which she would surely die.
The hounds they charged as a unit – for their masters had taught them so.
There was more than she could count and her hope, it simmered low.
Away from the burrow she raced, with all her speed and might,
never stopping for breath until the oak was far from sight.
She ran until she could no more, her body becoming weak,
and turned to see them in her wake, so close to the death they seek.
Her eyes now closed she slumped to the ground, exhaustion engulfed her whole,
and then she yelped as if to say “A mother from her children you have stole.”
I wish that I could tell you that this story ended rightly,
that man had a change of heart and that compassion reigned so brightly.
But man was cruel and heartless, not caring for this mother’s life,
and until he does this world will be forever in sickness and strife.
The siren’s cry
Take your gaze out to sea, and let their song be heard.
Welcome the whispers, listen close, take heed of every word.
The siren’s cry is seldom found, but often misconstrued,
for something dark and menacing, a predator in search of food.
A ravenous killer, seducing men and leading them to their graves.
When in fact she’s only trying to save the world beneath the waves.
Her cries are ones of mourning, for the brothers and sisters she’s lost,
and for being callous she decides man’s life will pay the cost.
“An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, you’ll get your just deserts,
until this destruction of my home finally reverts.
You cannot dream the things I’ve seen, you’ll never know my pain,
you’ll never reverse this pollution or bring back my family again.
The waters are filled with toxicity, and now, so is my heart,
until you begin to care for us I will continue to tear men apart.”
And with her tears hidden against the wetness of her skin,
she wreaks a chilling comeuppance, her sadness disguised by a grin.