Eighty cocaine hippos make the news prompting poems all across the Americas as NaPoWriMo takes up their cause!
Back from the Brink
Escobar started with four hippos… in 2017,
the population had swollen to about 65. Today… 80 to 100.
~Peter Rowe, LA Times, Feb., 2020
They say an old man freed Escobar’s four hippos,
walked out of the jungle wreathed in smoke
opening cages, (padlocks falling like blossoms
onto concrete floors) leading the small herd
out of bondage like a stone age Pied Piper, returning
them to a Pleistocene niche vacated too long ago
by supersize wombats, sloths and giant llamas.
No wonder a drug lord eager for notoriety, enamored
of power’s ornate trappings, elected to align with kings
and chaos, fertility and death, choosing to harbor animals
so revered some other shaman carved a hippopotamus
in stone seven thousand years ago.
Dangerous, cunning, herbivores, fast on their feet, graceful
in water, Disney wasn’t wrong to pose them dancing on toe shoes
enveloped in pink organdy. Taueret, goddess of childbirth stands
upright with a woman’s breasts, lion’s paws and the tail of a crocodile.
Worshiped thought the span of Egyptian civilization, her amulets
can still be found tucked beneath the pallets of women giving birth.
Taueret concerns herself with death as well as birth. Perhaps
Escobar offended when he captured her familiars, imprisoning them
for his amusement and aggrandizement or maybe she’s playing
her own long game (in principle all goddesses are Gaia) –
restoring balance to Columbia’s Eden.