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Dancing in the Dark

Written by Richard Bonfield

A poem for Verreau's sifaka: A Madagascan Lemur

Nijinsky of the green - washed light
Balletomane of paradise
Verreau's sifaka can you hear
That Gibson Les Paul in your ear?
Which grunges through discordant sounds
Of giant hardwoods crashing down
From which the ebony is sawed
To make those lovely finger boards
On which your elegy is scored
By spinal tapping dinosaurs
And Geishas who recline at night
On rosewood beds by candlelight
Which once were stately buttressed trees
That formed the forest's canopy
But now lie stacked in lumberyards
Their value inked on numbered cards
All poetry and music lost
The flashing Hang Sen counts the cost
Of weighing landscapes by the gram
And selling off the soul of man.

— Richard Bonfield © June 2012

Note on poem:

The story of Verreau's Sifaka is a salutary one.

Already one of the world's most endangered species its existence was further threatened by a recent coup in Madagascar resulting in a descent into lawlessness and the re-establishment of illegal logging in what were designated National Parks.

Thankfully the work of the American field zoologist who has been studying these lemurs for the last decade - in the manner of Jane Goodall/ Dian Fossey and the work of an environmental detective from the US Government in Washington who went undercover and filmed the logging operations + helped to trace the hardwoods route out of Madagascar to a middle man in Germany ,who then sold the wood on to Gibson; and a further huge consignment which went to China the logging has now ceased and Verreau's sifaka's precarious dance on the tightrope of existence is safe; for the time being at least.

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