The Cost of Writing

Shameful to carve a falcon in granite,
To cage swallows in starless stone,
To mummify crocodile and Nile perch
And bury them in the desert, sacrilege,
To imprison lions in mineral,
Predators trapped in pictographs,
Prey powerless to escape pursuit.
The cobra has no spit in sandstone,
The bee has neither sting nor honey,
The sacred ibis sinks into sediment
And vultures weigh a ton a piece.
Scavengers face their own erosion.
Baboons gaze at stonework sunrises.
Sparrows eat the last grains of light.
Figures of famine begin to fracture.
Cartoons of war crack at the core.
All this weighs humankind’s entelechy
Against the weight of a feather.

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