PICTURE POETRY: The Elephant’s Path


Writing in response to imagery

Title: The elephant’s path

Poet: Kelvin K Nyakubaya


“The elephant will be going about its way and the dogs will be barking at it, but it will pay them no mind and press on”

22:00 hours

I wake up to barking dogs, a burning match lights a candle. After 38 years, the old rooster sings no more – plucked, debeaked, and declawed, “Justice, you blind fool!” He cries foul on weary legs

“Thief! Thief in the night!” The dogs bark on

I peep through the house of stone. The elephant has broken into the granary yet again

“Stop! Stop it, in the name of the law!” The dogs bark on

But majestic and benevolent the elephant proceeds. The walls of dry stone offer little resistance and the old bull feeds off the bread basket, as he always does every five years about this time

I turn to my child, “Freedom my son! You shall not starve!” Drum in hand, I begin to sound the distress signal. Save our souls – save our souls – save our souls. Three gunshots are fired in succession and I hear wailing dogs. Three more gunshots deaden the night. The silence is absolute

Ululating with jubilation I rush to meet my saviors.

Free! Free at last! Finally, we are saved!

Freedom my son! Hope lives, the cavalry has addressed the elephant in the room. Or so I thought – Premature celebrations

Six watch dogs lie in a bloody heap, Eyes wide open with a menacing grin, but vacant of life.

Yet the devouring elephant lives, alive and well. With smoking guns in hand. “We are here for the elephant,” they said

Deep-rooted trees make way for the Elephant. As it disappears into the thicket along with the armed men. Uprooted trees and broken branches make the Elephant’s path. All hail the king

Daybreak, the house of stone makes headlines

Human-wildlife conflict, they call it. The Black Forest is no place to build without mortar

Cameras roll

“We are here live at the house of stone where 2 147 436 people are crying foul to what they claim to be a breaking and entering. “Sir what is your comment on the chilling scenes that just transpired here? “

I open my mouth to speak, but a wooden hummer finds its mark in the courtroom

“Overruled!” Said the Judge.

“It’s a jungle out there, my son. The scales of justice tip in favor of the heavier side, and the elephant has weight to spare.”

“Bless me father for poisoning the watering hole I shall, the troublesome beast must die!”

“My naive child, it is a dying cause to swim against the current. Your fate will be no different from that of the dogs, and every other creeping creature that goes of to the forest to die”

“Father my child’s inheritance lies in its belly, I will have its tusks!”

“My child to succeed is to be tried for treason, and sentenced to death, to fail is to be trembled underfoot and enshrined in a nameless thorny grave”

“Father the winds of change will cover my scent, a single headshot and the elephant grave awaits”

“My child a wounded elephant will not be denied, for on the day of his remembrance the grass will bleed. You cannot walk the elephant’s path and hope for a different destination”

Peace be with you. Amen and amen

Rifle in hand, my father rode the elephant into the Promised Land. The elephant’s path ushered in true change, Liberation, and freedom. Through the birth pangs of independence, he stayed persistent and constant to the struggle

“Freedom my unborn child you shall be born free”, he vowed

Born free I was, a true son of the soil I am. My father’s rifle in hand, in the elephant’s path I stand. Face to face with the bull elephant with my finger on the trigger, gun poised at its head

“Freedom my child you shall be truly free,” I vow

Bang! A bullet exits the chamber. Blood stains the Elephant’s path and the sun slowly fades away

“Father is that you?” Death wears a familiar face. “Freedom my son! I am so sorry.”

The revolutionary elephant trumpets, with the voice of 2 460 463 strong. Unstoppable and immovable the elephant lives. It cannot be killed, it can only self distract

Long live the king.

Poem: The Unsung Poet
By HSTV Editor 2 years ago
Poem: The Unsung Poet
If you can’t be the ‘Poet be the Poem
By HSTV Editor 2 years ago
If you can’t be the ‘Poet be the Poem
Poem: Happiness
By HSTV Editor 2 years ago
Poem: Happiness