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Monday, June 22, 2015

The Man of the Forest

In the tiny old pet shop
On River Santubong
I find an old capuchin
Caged and lonely.

A New World monkey
In ancient territory!
Beaten and weathered
Like rocks in the river.

In the wild evergreens
Is the man of the forest
An ape with a cape
Red, with flecks of orange.

Dense, dark Sarawak's jungles
Canopies, ferns, primitive natives
Whistling birds and barking deer
Giant crocs, fishermen's tangles.

Then come the loggers
With saws and bulldozers
Clearing a virgin forest
For palm oil plantations.

The man of the forest
Screams for them to stop
But who is to listen
To an orang's voice?

Then falls the tree,
the orang-utan's home
The men come a-grabbing
It's freedom no more.

There, next to the capuchin
In the tiny pet shop
In a cage, sitting pale
Is an orang for sale!

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