The Lonely Being

a poem by Jan Oskar Hansen

Found a toy,
a little red elephant,
thrown away by a truculent child,
put it on the mantle piece squeezed its belly
and got a trunk call
and it was now a he.

Not a laud bragging call,
but a distant sad one of a bull
that had lost his mate
and was not youthful enough to find a new bride,
he had tried
but was chased away by bigheaded younger ones.

His roomy tender heart
that had been so full of love
was now harden by loneliness and poisoned by rancour
he uprooted trees and broke down fences
in his frustration.

A crazy elephant!
Hunters were called
small red-faced men with big guns
wounded him badly
and he fled into the deepest forest
trumpeted sadly
then fell to the ground.

The forest shook,
clouds gathered
and it rained,
but not before he had his picture taken
by conceited men smoking cigarettes;
undignified, those tiny men
standing on his flank feeling heroic.