Shanee Taylor, tune in raga Patadeep
Morning air filled with jungle sounds
Lush green leaves glistening,
Sensing power and gentle strength
Through thick layers of skin.
Riding so high on the elephant’s back
Swaying from side to side at the pace of his walk.
Ancient and wise, fearless and strong,
Your soulful eyes teach me this song.
For so long you have freely roamed
Through the forests and plains.
Memories of the matriarch
Kept the herd on safe trails.
Twenty-two months you have grown in her womb
Birthed into family by the light of the moon.
Welcomed with joy, lovingly raised,
Learning through play and dangers faced.
People hunt you for ivory
Human greed knows no bounds.
Men will kill you to take your tusks
Bodies left as great mounds.
Elephants passing will pay their respects,
Treating with dignity the remains of the dead.
Mourning their kin, someone they’ve known,
Part of their tribe, one of their own.
Someone rescued you from this fate
Brought you here to this place
To a sanctuary for your kind
Where you all can feel safe.
Leaving behind times of danger and lack
Patiently carrying all of us on your back.
Are you at peace? Was this your choice?
I hear your voice. I hear your voice.
© 2016 Shanee Taylor