Ivory Forest (Poem and Fragment)

The elephant stumbles,
falls to the ground,
as its last breaths
drift into oblivion.

Its skin cracks,
flesh slips from the bone,
the skeleton fades to dust,
ivory tusks sink into the ground.

The rain comes,
awakening the ivory
which rises and spreads
from the soil into the air.

Incandescent in the sun,
the ivory tree, with ivory leaves,
coiled by ivory vines.

Its grown where the elephants died.

Trapped under the baking hot sun a convoy of elephants found vegetation to be scarce, water even more so. Dehydrated and emaciated, one by one the elephants dropped to the ground, their final breaths drifting into oblivion. Other elephants tended to the sick and the dying, their compassion damning them to annihilation.

The sun caused grey hides to crack and split apart. Flesh rotted, slipped from the bone, hyena’s and jackal’s taking what they could. Bones faded into dust, leaving ivory horns scattered on the ground, shining white monuments incandescent in the barren savannah.

Finally rain began to fall, too late for some. As the ground muddied the tusks sank into the soil, the last vestiges of the elephant tribe taken by elemental forces.

Years pass and at the exact place where the elephants succumbed the ground begins to quake. Fissures open as the ground fractures and fragments. A rushing, rising sound can be heard as something smashes through rocks and soil. It reaches the surface in stages, penetrating the top soil creating plumes of dust and dirt.

With the wind absent, howling in a nearby valley the dust hangs in the air. Through the earthen haze an alabaster shine pieces the cloak of dirt. As the mist settles what was once arid scrub land is now a forest of ivory. Iridescent trees under the blazing sun coiled by ivory ivy. Under the sallow canopy ivory flowers lean towards the sun whilst ivory creepers slink away amongst the opaline undergrowth. In the midst of the browns, the greens and the deep blue the ivory forest is incandescent, sublimely white, its rock solid make up ensuring an eternal presence on the savannah.

The elephant memories were trapped in the tusks and raging inside their bony prisons sought out a new existence. Spreading through the soil they twisted and tangled creating new forms until the soil could not contain them and they had to go upwards, towards the sun, leaning that way forever.


The end bothers me slightly and I feel certain parts may be overwritten. Feedback as always is welcomed.


About skyraftwanderer

A person who enjoys writing short story things, poetry and other random things that come into my head.
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5 Responses to Ivory Forest (Poem and Fragment)

  1. D... says:

    I think you do a really good job of creating that element of sadness. But the element of sadness is balanced by the beauty of the remains and what happens after the tribe’s passing.

    But what I think may lead the last paragraph astray is the introduction of the elephant’s memory, because thus far it’s been about the physical/material, and the transition to the persona of the elephant seems out of place. I think if you weave in a bit of the group relationship throughout the story it may seem a better transition. What is so interesting about elephants is their relationships with one another. The groups are very close and protective. As you mentioned a sick member would be looked after by another member. The paths they take are etched in their memory, so if one falls they would pay tribute or honor that member when they pass by. They are quite noble in that and in many respect(s) and to have their remains just dissipate cuts it short I think.

    • Thanks for the comment.

      You know the worst thing about that last bit? It only came about because I needed some form of a ending and the only thing I could think of was “A elephant never forgets”. So yeah, it’ll need a rewrite at some point.

      I think thats why on some level the poem works better. Its only one elephant and rather than try to explain everything the poems length allowed me to create a image and leave it at that.

      • D... says:

        Oh, you felt forced to give a conclusion. I know how that feels, you had all this momentum, but the right ending hadn’t come along yet, so you put together one even if it’s not what you really want. I think it would have worked too as a fragment without an ending, as unfinished or open ended.

        I agree poems don’t need the same constructions as stories (although really you could write a story any way you like), it’s more of a sample of a feeling a lot of times. There’s a freedom to it.

  2. mybluescreen says:

    I especially like the last image you leave us with. As always, you have an impressive way of weaving emotion into description. I enjoyed this very much! 🙂

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