Ode To An Orangutan In My Thoughts

Friday was the Day of the Monkey.  This brought to mind a certain event that happened maybe 12 or more years ago.  I could not fact any references to this orangutan on the net so I could not completely flesh out this memory.  But, there’s not a day that I don’t remember this meeting and this question of why and how we could ever do something so heartless to an animal we had professed to love when she was a baby.

Makeahla - Orangutans in the Sky

Ode To An Orangutan In My Thoughts
by Michael Romani

In the days of my childhood
Not to seem trite, but, it was understood
That there would be a common good
If we could talk with animals we knew
Not just in Doctor Doolittle's Hollywood
But, something more real and true

As a young man watching Cousteau on TV
It seemed a practical dream of our biology
Almost as if an intervention into humanity
As though we might be closer to divinity
That is, of course, until watching Planet of the Apes
As a series and then quietly putting away my capes

No longer convinced we were super let alone supermen
But that the dividing line wore ultra thin
Watching from the distance as we taught ASL
To Koko and others whose words still reveal
That we humans aren't the only ones with a soul
It left me wondering how the world is in our control

Day to day life seemed to get in the way
And as time drifted on, I found other things to say
Still memories of surfing dolphins at Chinaman's Hat
Kept in mind all of the world's niches as that
It seemed to me that other animals to indeed talk
And we humans have stopped listening; thick as rocks

Forty years on at some half forgotten Ohio zoo
I met an orangutan, more human than me and you
She was locked in a cage by herself as one
Trapped between raised as human; the damage was done
Her humans wouldn't keep her out of their base fear
And her kind didn't want her not anywhere near

I read her sad story for what it might just tell
Our beastly inhumanity is what it seemly revealed
To raise one up and the sell her out of convenience
Was less than pristine and lacking in brilliance
She was not responsible for being that step between
And the truth is, she didn't know what it means

There was a look of loneliness in her sweet eyes
Deeper than the incisor cuts hidden by disguise
Her soul seemed to reach out and into mine
Maybe it was a shared experience we couldn't define
That at the glass we stood eye to eye, hand to hand
Both of us knowing what others pretend to understand

Her hurt and feeling so intensely scared and lost
My heart pounding, breaking at man's folly's cost
We stood there palm to palm as if kin to kin
Each of us disguised by the thin veneer of our skin
Her heart calling out, "do not leave me, I am lonely"
Myself having felt my own pain deep inside of me

Her eyes called out filled with grace and deep beauty
But, I had to go as it was my lot and human duty
Swearing aloud that I would come back once again
I have not seen her in person; not since then
But in my mind and in my soul, I question why
And my tears are my only reply

(c) December 14, 2019  Michael Romani
All Rights Reserved




About alohapromisesforever

Writer, poet, musician, surfer, father of two princesses.
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