by Alice Shapiro

Poetry Introduction : Alice Shapiro shares more of her poetry in "Life: Descending/Ascending."

Poetry Beginning : A precious outlawed ivory tusk --


sleek, white-blonde,
severed, polished, sold
to lie prone atop an aged, scored and flecked
mahogany escritoire.
It is a quiet desk
stately, like the once-grand appendage
resting near pens and paper clips
that boasts of ownership—
not as from true origins
once piercing air with pride,
magnificence —
but conceit
a capturing of false bravado
as if one trudged the wild jungles
slayed, and claimed the beast oneself.
Instead it is a furtive money-changing roguery.

A grey, mammoth, hard-rind, wrinkled beast
swaggers as far as possible
confined by iron-barred fetters at the Bronx Zoo
as goggle-eyed babes drool ice cream cones
on bib-less t-shirts
oblivious to a pachyderm’s silent cry
out of habitat
out of sensible mind
and, of course, minus weaponry.

(For more by Alice Shapiro’s “Life: Descending/Ascending” go to or

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Genre : Poetry