on this earth

ivory comb_egypt (1)

an ancient comb in the Met.
animals parade across an ivory page

at the head
elephants trampling, snakes rising up
each full step beats out a wor(l)d —

and the kerfuffle of
waterbirds, cattle
hyenas yipping
plus one forlorn giraffe.

everything’s new, moving
to the drum

Image:  Egyptian Hair Comb Decorated with Rows of Wild Animals 

For more on African elephants and other people here’s photographer Nick Brandt with ‘On this Earth

And for your enjoyment, as I’m still a bit in the thrall of Vikingur Olafsson (Icelandic piano superstar and recent artist in residence for the BBC radio 4), here he is in a wet garden.

17 thoughts on “on this earth

  1. You’ve brought the artifact back to life. I could hear the drumming. I really had to wonder about the significance of the single giraffe.


  2. Excellent, excellent wordplay here! ❤️ I love; “the kerfuffle of waterbirds, cattle, hyenas yipping.” 🙂


  3. Some days I too have the sensation that everything is new, although nothing is. I guess the giraffe was created because of a fault in the ivory or a slip-up, kudos to the artist. And today, the same giraffes are everywhere, but I don’t mind. Thanks for sharing, Peter.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s