Here’s the wonderful news – and great footage – from Kariega.  It’s movingly narrated by Dr Will Fowlds who treated Thandi, and the late Themba, after their brutal attack by poachers in March 2012.

Many thanks to Adrian Steirn for getting this out so soon after Thandi gave birth on January 13th 2015.

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The rhino is the ‘headline’ species for a much wider threat to the whole of the natural world – the “immense, unknown life / going on around you, within you” – and this threat  is the subject of award-winning Australian poet Andy Kissane’s wonderfully moving poem ‘Flight’.

Flight

Sometime in June or July, throw on a cable-stitched
grey jumper or even a thick coat for warmth,
take the afternoon off and head out past Kurnell
to Cape Solander. There, on the white sandstone cliffs
above the vast flood, look for humpbacks
heading north, swimming near the shore
to dodge the ocean current sliding south.
Witness, if you’re lucky, a whale breaching—
the corrugated whiteness of its wobbly ascension,
the dark certainty and blazing glitter of its fall.
The cold breeze ruffles the diamond quilt
until it’s as messy as an unmade bed, it tugs
at the waving tendrils of spear grass and at the tips
of your ears, it makes your eyes water
as if some old sadness has unexpectedly taken hold.
You can find no sign of a sea eagle, hovering;
you cannot name the endangered species
growing in this headland heath. But you can close
your eyes, you decide to do this simple thing,
electing to completely miss the whale if it rises again,
aware now of this immense, unknown life
going on around you, within you, as the buffeting,
lunging wind picks you up and gives you wings.

Andy Kissane

‘Flight’ comes from the collection Radiance by Andy Kissane (Puncher & Wattmann, 2014)

http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/radiance

Last Sunday host Dennis Morton highlighted the Rhino Anthology on KUSP’s weekly Poetry Show broadcast from Santa Cruz, California.

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He movingly reads a selection of the poems and the introductory material of the book. Even better, KUSP’s blog page promises more readings from the Anthology at a future date.  You can listen to the podcast by clicking through to the Poetry Show website at KUSP.

All of the KUSP Poetry Show podcasts are in iTunes, see below, and I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s great that the Anthology is now reaching a much wider audience.

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VI

From fragments, horns, we dream of the unicorn,

fleet footed, ephemeral, fairest of all.

More beautiful still is the wholeness of things;

the slow rhino, pressing his feet into the earth

wirh every step.

 

VII

In the mud at the edge of the waterhole,

the earth and the water are one.

The earth and the water and the rhino

are one.

 

 

Species

 

Sometimes they rise before me in the night,

the lemurs, eyes as bare and bright as moons,

the lizard, older than the afternoon,

the coral’s tender hands which sun bleached white.

Some are immense, the tiger, shot and still,

some thumbnail-sized, like Chile’s emerald frog,

I never saw, and soon, nobody will.

 

Alison Brackenbury

 

Great video recording by Roar recordings: Harry reciting Eyona indala to eloquent visuals and music.

Sally Scott’s majestic front cover image hangs on my study wall and at this time of year autumn sunlight slants across the picture making dark shadows and new contrasts.

RhinoShrinkingWorld

I’ve taken a few photos of this and today I reworked one of them.  I chose three keywords – rhino, shrinking and world – and used the photo as a base to run them through WordFoto.  It’s a very clever application that selects area of similar colour and shape in a picture and then replaces them with your selected words at different sizes.  Here’s the comparison.  There’s no intention to change it!

For Rhino front

Two weeks ago Harry sent a copy of the rhino anthology to Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.

He responded this afternoon as follows:

“Dear Friend,

Thank you so much for this beautiful gift. I look forward to a good and perhaps disturbing read.

I certainly support your campaign against the ghastly attempt at eradicating these splendid creatures so gruesomely.

You can, if you need to, publicise my support of your campaign.

God bless you,

+Desmond Tutu”

You might imagine that a limerick, with all its implications of light-hearted jokiness, would be the last kind of poem to find a place in a serious anthology such as this.  But here Madeleine Begun Kane, whilst maintaining her limerick’s essential levity, cleverly manages to make an important ecological point at the same time.  And that takes talent.

Limerick Ode to the Rhinoceros

The rhino appears prehistoric,

With a diet that’s vega-caloric.

It’s endangered, alas,

Laws to save it must pass.

This would make all its lovers euphoric.

Madeleine Begun Kane


(American humorist, political satirist and poet Madeleine Begun Kane – “Mad Kane” – won the 2008 Robert Benchley Society Humor Award and is a National Society of Newspaper Columnists award winner.  She publishes the humor site MadKane.com – http://www.madkane.com – and her humor, essays, limericks and light verse have been published in numerous newspapers, print magazines, web sites, anthologies and college textbooks.)