People have necks
as do much of the animal kingdom.
Tigers, sloths, grizzly bears,
giraffes and turtles too.
Akin to giraffes are we.
We stick our necks out
leeeean way over to gawk,
and try to stand out in a crowd.
To me, even zoo giraffes are majestic.
Necks out-stretched, they stand tall.
Calmly eat from high-top tables,
drink from troughs on very tall poles.
I think some of us are like that.
Some people live in zoos of their own making.
Cocktail party impressarios.
Standing tall at high-top tables
neck craned to see VIPs, they politely sip.
No one looking? They lap and slurp it down.
I dislike most the raucous barflys
guzzling pints, tequila and whiskey shots.
Standing on sawdust covered floors,
they sway beside sticky high-top tables,
craning blotchy necks.
They try to catch a waiter’s eye
or land an easy mark,
belching as the crowd mills by.
And that’s the rub isn’t it?
Standing out in a crowd,
necks craned, leaning in or out,
all can be done appropriately.
Who then is the beast in reality?
Faced with a challenge, a time to stand tall.
I see far too many humans
pull in their necks,
retreat in their shells and hide.
Unlike the turtle,
they never enter the race.
My real question then is this:
Who really comprises the animal kingdom?
A very intriguing piece. You make a social statement, while still rocking the prompt. As a Type A extrovert, I tend to stand out in most crowds–and I have been willing to stick my neck out on occasion.
I love giraffes. So casually calm. Not so keen on zoos, though.
This is gorgeously, gorgeously rendered, Lillian! Wow! I echo Glenn here, you posed several thought-provoking and significant questions with this poem. I especially like; “Who then is the beast in reality? Faced with a challenge, a time to stand tall. I see far too many humans pull in their necks, retreat in their shells and hide.” Yes! 💝💝
Giraffes have always seemed majestic and a bit aloof to me as well. I think at times I’m the giraffe and other times the turtle. This pandemic has left many of us stuck in our shells, so the giraffe is rather inviting! 🦒
First Lillian, what a great bit of writing. Truth presented beautifully. Second, the giraffe is for me, hands down, the most magical creature here on spaceship earth. Thank you for the pics!
I love the shape, the height, the giraffe-ness of this poem, Lill; the way it starts with a general statement about necks and then leans over to give me a good old lick with its giraffe tongue! But all the while you weave together the traits of animal and human. And you hit the nail on its head with the line: ‘Some people live in zoos of their own making’ and then have a little rant about ‘raucous barflys’ and their ‘craning blotchy necks’, which made me chuckle.
You certainly know how to paint a cast of characters, Lillian:
‘Some people live in zoos of their own making.’
They certainly do. I thoroughly enjoyed this!
I can see those people mingling sticking out their neck… and those hiding turtle-like when the wind is blowing.