Elephant Ink

You force your needle in my skin imbuing stories told.
Ink leaves behind dark lines of shape a pachyderm to share.
The humming sounds of shooting pain exude Ganesha’s birth.
From steel to flesh an elephant, reflecting Hindu mirth.

Please tell me of your circus tents, unjustified behind
the wonder in your children’s eyes—the bullhooks, chains, and lies.
Prevaricate the jewels you sell in lines that wait for rides.
Embellished cloth protects their eyes, your children’s, from their hides.

The subjugation of their kind, to kill for ivory tusks,
to entertain opposing thumbs, and keep our species dumb.
May circus chains and zoo refrains bring nothing but disgust.

Brenda Warren 2015

Prompt from the NaPo site:
And now, for our optional prompt! Today I challenge you to write a fourteener. Fourteeners can be have any number of lines, but each line should have fourteen syllables. Traditionally, each line consisted of seven iambic feet (i.e., an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable, times seven), but non-iambic fourteeners also exist. The fourteener was popular in 16th and 17th century England, where it was particular common in ballads, but it also is the form in which “Casey at the Bat” is written. The form is versatile enough to encompass any subject matter, but as the example of “Casey at the Bat” shows us, it is particularly useful in narrative poetry, due to the long line and the step-like sense of progression created by the iambs.

FYI: I tried to stick to the traditional parameter of seven iambic feet in this piece. Go me!


5 thoughts on “Elephant Ink

  1. Strong sentiments there. I like this line:
    The humming sounds of shooting pain exude Ganesha’s birth.

    A fourteener? I’ve never written one till now.


    • I best come visit you there, and cheer you on. So glad you liked this piece. It’s always a challenge to do the iambic footing. I can’t imagine spending a month on the found challenge. You go, my friend!


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