Thursday, April 1, 2010


(photo by PETA, found at Wikipedia)

Stone lions are safer
Than real ones –
By which I don’t mean
They won’t attack;

No one will try
To tame them,
Make them into pets.

They’ll guard the door
On either side,
Like dogs, but
They won’t see
The irony.

They will not long
For living flesh
Between their teeth,
Or dream of leaping
On a running zebra’s back.

Once, I talked
To a bear at the zoo
On a steaming hot day.

His cage was small,
Barely had room
To turn around –

He looked
Bedraggled and

I asked,
“are you unhappy?”

He rolled over
On his side, looked
At me upside-down,
And groaned;

I’m sure
He understood.

A bratty little boy,
Running around
Plunged through
A group of pigeons, scattered
Them, stopped
Near the cage,
And screamed
To split sensitive ears.

Sadly, the bear
Was too dis-spirited
To even try
To reach him.

So we humans allow
Our offspring
To run wild,
And yet build cages
For the kings of
Beasts, and
For those damaged grown-ups
We consider “monsters,”

And we blame their state
On their neglectful
Parents, and it all
Goes ‘round in circles

Like a lion
In a cage

-- © 2010 by Jack Veasey

All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced or duplicated in any way withot the author's written permission.


  1. This has wonderful imagery and flow. I like that it feels a bit understated but packs a real punch, great ending.

  2. Thanks, John. That's exactly what I was trying to do.