Lonesome George

Jun 24 2012 Published by under poetry

Lonesome George, the last la Pinta tortoise, died earlier today. As the last of his species, he became a symbol of the precariousness of the Galapagos ecosystems. I had the opportunity to visit the Galapagos Islands and Lonesome George more than a decade ago.

A page from my Galapagos Scrapbook, featuring at least one picture of Lonesome George (the pictures on the left may be other tortoises at the Darwin Research Station). Also note my terrible poetry.

While I am fully aware that my high school poetry was, and still is, terrible, I make no apologies for it:

Lonesome George (2001)

a lone tortoise emerged from his rock-hard shell,
after the foul reivers had left his shore,
he opened his slumped eyes to a visceral hell,
he could not prepare for what was in store,
his brethern are gone, taken into the galleys,
each found her fate in the state of rich food,
kidnapped by the cannibal, buccaneer limeys,
kept captive in prisons so very crude,
he is the last one left of his saddleback kin,
alone but not forgotten in this land,
and put now in a foreign place for protection,
free of all tyrannies of human hand,
in dark solitude he is slowly growing old,
and when Lonesome George passes, so passes the World.

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