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A poem by Scottish poet Gordon Meade from his Zoospeak series, which attempts to give voice to animals ...
2019-09-18 09:00:00

Baltic Grey Seal, Lithuania, 2016

Photo by Jo-Anne McArthur / Born Free Foundation
Baltic Grey Seal, Lithuania, 2016
Baltic Grey Seal, Lithuania, 2016

It is a sunny day. There are blue balloons
tied to the silver railings, and everyone is here,
dressed in their Sunday best. They are not.

It is a sunny day. There are blue balloons
tied to the silver railings, and everyone is here,
dressed in their Sunday best. They are not,
however, gathered together to celebrate.

It is a sunny day. There are blue balloons
tied to the silver railings, and everyone is here,
dressed in their Sunday best. They are not,
however, gathered together to celebrate
someone's birthday. Today marks the opening.

It is a sunny day. There are blue balloons
tied to the silver railings, and everyone is here,
dressed in their Sunday best. They are not,
however, gathered together to celebrate
someone's birthday. Today marks the opening
of my new enclosure. The water, too, is blue.

It is a sunny day. There are blue balloons
tied to the silver railings, and everyone is here,
dressed in their Sunday best. They are not,
however, gathered together to celebrate
someone's birthday. Today marks the opening
of my new enclosure. The water, too, is blue.
The rubber ring is red, but my skin is grey.

It is a sunny day. There are blue balloons
tied to the silver railings, and everyone is here,
dressed in their Sunday best. They are not,
however, gathered together to celebrate
someone's birthday. Today marks the opening
of my new enclosure. The water, too, is blue.
The rubber ring is red, but my skin is grey,
just like the Baltic Sea in which I was born.

It is a sunny day. There are blue balloons
tied to the silver railings, and everyone is here,
dressed in their Sunday best. They are not,
however, gathered together to celebrate
someone's birthday. Today marks the opening
of my new enclosure. The water, too, is blue.
The rubber ring is red, but my skin is grey,
just like the Baltic Sea in which I was born,
and, to which, I will never be able to return.

 

Author’s note:

The “Baltic Grey Seal, Lithuania, 2016”, is one in a series of 50 poems entitled Zoospeak, which takes as its initial inspiration the work of the Canadian photographer and animal activist, Jo-Anne McArthur, especially as represented in her most recent book, Captive. My hope is that the use of repetition, the first person pronoun and, primarily, the present tense, in some way mirrors the far too commonly used term, ‘Zoochosis’, which frequently shows itself in the behaviour of many zoo animals; walking in tight circles, pacing, swaying, and rocking.

 

Published:

Gordon Meade

is a Scottish poet based in the East Neuk of Fife. He divides his time between his own writing and developing creative writing courses for vulnerable people in a variety of settings. His most recent collection, “The Year of the Crab”, was published in 2017 by Cultured Llama Publishing in England.