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Orangutan

Written by Ian Redmond

A shaggy red cog,
Clambering
Purposefully through the canopy.
Orangutan.

Protruding parabolic cheek-pads swing around.
Ears cock at a distant long-call
From the rising sun.
Change course,
Quickly,
The resonance suggests Trouble.
Orangutan.

Thinking
Only of fruit,
Ripe and luscious,
And of females,
Ovulating…
Ready
For suspended sex.
Orangutan.

It is difficult
For the novice engineer
To comprehend the purpose of each working part
Of a machine;
The unseen connections,
The hidden links
That bind the parts into a functioning whole.

How much simpler to dismember the device
And think of novel uses for its parts.
Coiled components,
Stripped of their thorns,
Are steamed and stapled into sedans and sofas
For another Habitat,
Far away.

Upright components,
Ironically,
Used for cement cladding
To raise the level, if not the standard, of living in Japan;
Or chopped into chips, and pressed into boards, to build a home
That leaves others homeless.

People of the forest
Would never think of such a clever idea.
Primitives,
Using only the forest's components in ways which accord
With their evolution.
Orangutan.

That towering green-fruit tree,
The one that grows a days clambering from the bend in the river,
Just beyond the limestone crag,
Should be just about ready to fruit by the time I reach it
Tomorrow.
If it is still there....

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