Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. Leonard Cohen

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Ring-Tailed Lemur Speaks

Do I frighten you?
image source
I am the namesake of the restless dead
The evil spirits who haunt the night
My face a black mask
My eyes a ghostly reflection
My howl a piercing scream
Long ago men appeased me with black beans
     to rid me from their homes
Now I mostly eat fruits
     and it is my home that is in peril
I am watching you with my staring eyes
And unlike my nocturnal brothers
     I rise with the sun, like you
I may be fearful but I am to be feared
Like my namesake, I will have my revenge
     on those who do not respect my nature
Let the rings on my tail remind you
That Hell awaits

submitted for The Poetry Bus
also submitted for Poetry Potluck-Evolution, Environment, and Survival

*In Roman mythology 'lemures' (singular lemur) were spirits of the restless or malignant dead and were described as vengeful and feared. Lemures inspired Linnaeus's classification of 'lemur' to characterize the "ghostly stare", nocturnal habits and unearthly calls of the infraorder. Ring-tailed lemurs are endangered. The forests of Madagascar are being converted to farmland, overgrazed by livestock, and harvested for charcoal production. Lemurs are also hunted for food in certain areas of their range and are frequently kept as pets.


Titus said...

Yikes Lolamouse! I was not expecting that at all.
Thanks for the poem, and the education.
Chilling work, and those last two lines...

Did you read about the book project? If you'd be OK with me using the poem, e-mail me at TitusmckayATaolDOTcom with the name you'd like it to appear under.

Fireblossom said...

You tell 'em, girl.

I have a stuffed toy lemur who lives on my Queen Anne chair. :-)

M. A. S. said...

I have to say, the poem really surprised me BECAUSE, I didn't know any of that about Lemurs (except that they live in Madagascar). It occurs to me that I should read the poem again, with my new lemur knowledge, and that I should have done so before I posted this comment.

M. A. S. said...

Yep. Really like it. I like the ominous warning from nature at the end. It reminds me, oh so slightly, of the poem I did for today.
I thought you said you weren't even attempting a poem a day!

Marcoantonio Arellano (Nene) said...

The eyes, the eyes
they look like mine
in the morning rise
they reflect the dream I dreamt
of human beings
stealing my beans
and the fruits
of my being

NanU said...

oh dear. well. ahem. I will certainly do my best to preserve your home, and those of all the other panthergeckolemurs. pardon!

Lolamouse said...

nene: You animal!

Uma Anandane said...

Nice poem..a story of a lost lemur .I even like nene poem too

Isabel Doyle said...

Thanks for telling me what the Romans thought of Lemurs - no, that was someone else - very clever poem

Linda Bob Grifins Korbetis Hall said...

Thanks for sharing.


Anonymous said...

Strong and vivid poem :) thank you for sharing

Anonymous said...

Liked the poem and the info. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

You scared me. Good that there is no lemur in here :)

Anonymous said...

Great poem and lovely creatures. Thanks to for some of the mythology. So you don't want to get on the wrong side of these cute little critters. :)

Anonymous said...

Fabulous! Such power and anger! I love it.

Olivia said...

This is wonderful!
It's both powerful and gives a lot about how this species is perceived..

A very raw and intense poem woven.. Only you could have done it!

Loved it absolutely..
Hugs xox

Anonymous said...

Yikes ... very ominous! Well done from the lemur's view point. The last 2 lines were the zingers:

" ... Let the rings on my tail remind you
That Hell awaits."

Anonymous said...

Great idea for a poem! I shall never look at them again without thinking of your words. Well written!


Raksha Bhat said...

That was quite a warning:)

Anonymous said...

so sweet! mines here~ http://fiveloaf.wordpress.com/2010/06/18/natures-gravity/

Mia said...

oh my Gosh! this was awesome! whoot whoot!


Lolamouse said...

Thanks everyone for all the kind feedback! I learned quite a bit while researching lemurs for this one! Wasn't expecting to find out about ancient Romans and mythology!

Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks for the info. I liked the way the pacing for this poem matched the warning tone...last lines are definitely pointed! Good job! And thanks for teaching me something new. :)

trisha said...

the little guy looks quite cute. not at all scary.

a beautiful and touching poem, we should respect life forms.


Unknown said...

Beware of the warnings that nature makes,
The consequences of all of our mistakes,
Are in the voice of the mighty lemur who speaks,
Through powerful words as Lolamouse squeeks.