Saturday, March 29, 2008

My Poem: Prisoners With No Parole

Prisoners with No Parole

I recently toured a prison,

Not many know it's there,

The captives never had a trial

And no one seem to care.

Their eyes spoke words no tongue could say,

They paced the floor or slept,

For a moment I put myself in their place,

Then I turned away and wept.

They're waiting, clinging to the hope

That this is their last day,

Without that hope their fragile lives

Would fade and slip away.

For these were never criminals,

They once roamed wild and free,

Like human slaves they were trapped and chained

and shipped to this country.

No contact is permitted between them

and loved ones left behind.

To their growls and screams to be released

Their guards were deaf and blind.

And now, huddling together

in bare, gray cement rooms,

They pace and dream their lives away;

These cells become their tombs.

Tomorrow is another day

and we'll live each a free soul,

But the ZOO is crammed with animals;

Prisoners with no parole.

I wrote this poem 35 years ago and our zoo has been improved since then.

However, there are honored institutions where animals are tortured in the name

of medical science like OHSU in Portland, Oregon, and very few people care

or are aware of their suffering. Experiments are repeated

even when the benefit to humanity is zero.

Industrial farms keep animals in tiny cages or pens and fill the animals

with antibiotics to keep them alive until they can be slaughtered

to become our food.

I am a great admirer of Albert Shweitzer, who promoted

the concept of reverence for life

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