That we were here first has been universally recognised
except by some monsters on terra firma who behave as if
they own this world; they make fun of us, call us names,
represent us riding bicycles or shove us up their smelly spouts
and nostrils, not the sort of places we normally like to visit.
Not that we lack a sense of humour; but enough is enough.
It was mainly the fault of that god-man who used us for his
miracles. Since then we have been a symbol of him.
Some species are backward in their understanding.
Why he could not settle for fruits or some other plant
is beyond us. We like to help, we are generous;
we feed all manner of creatures with our flesh
but prefer not to call it a miracle or holy communion.
We never imagined it would become a global phenomenon.
We would like to wipe out hunger in
Africa, keep the world
healthy with our contribution to research in medicine
but we do not like wars that are fought on our territory
by those who have nothing in common with us. Our homes
are uninhabitable; we are left to survive anyway we can,
our gills stuck with oil, unable to breathe. Luckily, we know
how to multiply but humans have yet to learn how to divide.
We do not like to be a commodity subject to demand and supply,
even the most imaginative ones refer to us as sex symbols.
We have entered a language that constricts our purpose and meaning
appearing without copyright on seals, rings, urns and tombstones.
By Shanta Acharya, Looking In, Looking Out (Headland Publications,
; 2005) UK
Please visit www.shantaacharya.com for more information about her work.
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