Natural Patterns

Elephants know when the storm approaches.
Mother and calf, tails and trunks locked, walk
across the plains in search of shelter–
calm. Trepidations in overcast coats
calls to thunder off the coast,
elephant eyes colored
glacial and aware.

Elephants take to migration, as if the sheets
of rain were forces of movement–one after
another until each drop forms a new skin.
Slick, photogenic,
National Geographic’s
front cover–in the foreground,
phosphorescent light.

Elephants smell oceans with trunks and skin.
If one lived in Poughkeepsie it would know
the tides for the Hudson Harbor before Channel 5.
Silver edged boats docked safely
without Bob the Weather Man
Streets illuminated daily.

Elephants sleep in circles, children huddled
in the center, a cyclonic pattern of slumber
to keep synchronized against predators.
One cheetah against a pack [a stratus paired
with a cirrus in early
morning fog] cannot break
the circle.

Elephants are not meant for weather. It is
thrust upon them, bereft of influence.
The storm shakes leaves onto their backs.
But let us not forget the watered skin–
scattering twilight signals rest,
once again prepared for
the predators.

Elephants in zoos know better. Night–
artificial light–no predators save for
cheetas on the Safari Pride! walk.
Recorded African noise muffled by
summer thunder–
street traffic. Sand and Pepsi cans-
cycles are broken.


(written in Feb 2010)

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