The Lions – once again, brilliant wildlife photographer, Fred von Winckelmann has generously allowed me to share his stunning photographs. The sole purpose of this post is to highlight the beauty of the African lions, and to acknowledge their fragile tenure in the world. Estimates vary, but there may be as few as twenty to thirty thousand lions remaining in the wild. We, global citizens, must do everything we can to ensure that they continue to thrive on the vast, open lands where their ancestors left footprints in the sand. We owe them nothing less that our ceaseless efforts to protect them.
Thank you, Fred.
The lion opens his amber eyes and shakes his thick, black mane
He stretches, stands and scents the air for a fast approaching rain
His cubs are tumbling helter-skelter, playing on the endless plain
The lioness growls and swats their ears, eliciting yelps of pain.
The rest of the pride is awake, looking up from the winding stream
Once in the hundreds of thousands, they roamed the land supreme
Then human interlopers came, with the sounds of a death knell scream
Posing a haunting question – is the golden life of lions now a fleeting dream?
It’s the way of the African wild, the endless dance of predator with prey
When morning breaks on their hunting grounds, others must always pay
The small game quickly go to ground, in the grass and the mounds of decay
Listening as hoof beats pound all around, they hear the shrieks of the jay.
The birds float lazily overhead, as the cats chase a fleeing gazelle
He jumps and darts, leaps and runs, caught between flight and hell
The lionesses are fleet of foot, their claws hasten Tommie’s farewell
Curving horns gleam in the sun, his unsung song is for others to tell.
Finally full of belly, they lie on the sands of the plain
A young mother feels a tug in her gut, then the usual birthing pain
Her body delivers three new babes, the pride has much to gain
The king admires his newest cubs, links in his tawny chain.
Each generation is full of hope, for the life of a new born kit
Nature is not a welcoming place, if a new mother lacks true grit
The pride is moving daily, a journey for the strong and the fit
By the second week a baby dies, in a damp and clay-filled pit.
The lioness carries his body, through the grass and across the sand
The harshness of his death is common, on this unforgiving land
His remaining siblings lag behind, tired from the pace of their band
Will the sister lions wait for her, does her leader stop to understand?
Survival of the fittest, is the law where the lions roam
We read of the broken hearted, in many a scholarly tome
We steal their lives and their precious cubs, for our circus catacomb
Lions still dream of life in their pride, with a primal urge to go home.
It’s the way of the lives of lions, in a land that can anger the mind
Where human interactions are usually cruel, rarely ever kind
There is a slow awakening, we are starting to come from behind
With messages of caring, hope and change that won’t be undermined.
Stand up for the lions while we have them, and challenge human greed
So future generations can marvel, at their grace and beauty and speed
The roar of the iconic lion, is a gift that the gods have decreed
Don’t let them fall victim to humans, when they all deserve to be freed.
The lion watches with amber eyes and shakes his thick, black mane
He yawns and stretches and scents the air, for a fast approaching rain
He nuzzles the lioness close to his side, and calls to his cubs again
The night belongs to this lion’s pride, no danger lurks in the lane.
Dawn will bring another day, when the king must protect his domain
But now the stars flicker brightly with hope, and the moon has yet to wane
The lion closes his amber eyes and shakes his thick, black mane
He lies in the grass with those he loves and waits for the fresh, soft rain.
May the sons and daughters of Africa, shout a call that is now profound
To stand with those around the Earth, who fight for the lions year round
This message of hope is essential, excuses must never be found
To ignore the wrongs of cultures, for whom killings of lions abound
The cries of the cubs who are lost on the land, must not be a hollow sound
The paw prints of lions left in the sand, claim their place on holy ground.
The Lions Must Never Cease To Roam.
If They Do – Part Of The Soul Of Our Planet – Will Be Forever Lost.
Please Get Involved!
Rosemary Wright – February 7, 2017