The Closing of the “Worst in the World” Gaza Zoo
By David Hartley Mark
(Based on poem by Thomas Hardy, “Drummer Hodge”)
Please read the news article from forward.com before reading the poem. Thank you.
A nameless lion and chimpanzee
Who died of hunger and disease—
We mourn stuffed carcasses, set free:
Thus, cover, Earth! And rest at ease
From Israel-Palestine rift you flee,
And a bit of Heaven now, may seize.
An emu and a porcupine:
No politics at all had they
But suffering they drank like wine
While Jews kept terrorists at bay
(An emu with bombs strapped to its spine
Could blow half Tel Aviv away.)
So: tiger, emu, monkeys five
Tramp deeper into your Galut,
With Palestinians still alive,
Both peaceful and those who thirst for loot,
Israelis wishing peace to thrive,
And those who build their West Bank hive….
What quarrel could there ever be
With animals whom God hath made?
Why should there be greater sympathy
For beasts over humans we degrade?
No peaceful ending will there ever be,
For mortals nor beasts, eternally.