the highland hills.
the highland hills are wreathed in rising damp;
a group of elephants, with careful steps,
file out from bamboo thickets where they’d slept -
not far from the illegal logging camp
where most of them had been confined and clamped
in massive shackles, prodded, goaded, kept
in constant terror until they’d nothing left
except dull servitude, a mental stamp
that overrode all instinct and all pride.
some say without us humans they’d have died,
erased from the few hills where they remain -
captivity’s a high price to exist.
with every step they now hear clanking chains
and balk at all temptation to resist.