Painting – “Walking Into Eternity”

Walking into eternity

“I’ve been following the coverage of the elephant slaughter that is getting even more intense and destructive as so many countries in Africa collapse into civil war. Ivory is a slick commodity that can be quickly traded for guns, drugs, and money.
“There was a recent campaign by the Wildlife Conservation Society to raise consciousness called The number 96 refers to the estimate of how many elephants are killed everyday! The overall numbers are staggering; something over 100,000 in just the last couple of years. That’s why I titled the painting “Walking Into Eternity.” It does not seem like hyperbole to say that elephants may be facing imminent extinction.
“What is this world when they are gone?” -Marius

Read: The End For Elephants? by TRISTAN MCCONNELL
(WARNING: graphic images)

“The Masai Mara Dreams of Vultures”- Poetry by Marius

Dust rises like a silted fog between the Serengeti plains and the mighty Masai Mara
Wildebeests in mass migration, heavy-headed, spindly-legged
Improbable and plenty, walk the beaten path in jeopardy
Relentlessly, attended by the watchful lions, in turn followed
By the jackals, cheetah, wild dogs, and hysterical hyenas
All laughing, tongues lolling, calculating distances
And likely outcomes
Every summer half a million grunting ungulates will meet their fate
And fill the fastest hunter’s need
Bloody-faced and belly-full, they retire when sated, without greed
And the Dance’s second act begins with graceful and ascending arcs
Like dueling kites in wind, the wheeling vultures float above, begin
To fall like stones, to strike the dusty clay
Flexing feathers, hopping froggish trolls
And the bloated, blasted carcass falls to them,
The boisterous mob, full of happy mayhem
Rot and guts are stripped in minutes
A spectacle of ugliness, but life’s directive
Nonetheless – that everything has use
But the Serengeti janitors, Mut’s minions also signal an alarm in azure skies,
That Death is here
And stealth, the poacher’s cloak, is torn away
For more and more, the hungry ghosts of war, the ivory thieves
Kill the gray gargantuan as they move with the herds
And leave cryptic corpses, sad remains
These are dangerous men to inconvenience in their plans
Soldiers in a blighted cause, they spread their poison everywhere
For birds, for men, and the tainted bait they make means this:
No birds to tell a tale, so easy cash and secrets kept
A poacher heeds no law but appetite and market share
Still..empty skies and poisoned corpses
Are a warning in and of themselves
Things fall apart, as Chinua Achebe said
Just this easily
While the Masai Mara dreams of vultures
Gone from the grassy seas

“Barbed-Wire” and “An Unusual Mortality Event” by Marius Mason

One day in the prison yard, the resident grey cat chased heedlessly
A bird, who’d landed on the roof, all enclosed with steely swirls
And slipping through the curling razor wire, stalked
Until it caught her leg and stopping
Shaking as it sliced her
The sharp barbs cutting fur and muscle, white and wounded to the bone
Blood dripping down the eves, yowling
And the bird forgotten, gone
Took so long a summer healing, that we wondered
If the fabled nine were used and done
But she survived and still sleeps the afternoon in sun, these days
Listening to the radio this morning in my cell,
ear to the wind and the wild world outside
All walls and razor wire, comes the rolling distant thunder
Of masses on the move, rivers of refugees
Each person fleeing worse and much worse behind them
Where everywhere is war
And those few wealthy nations, crossed arms close their gates
Spew tear gas and water cannons, raise up more walls
And I cannot help by wonder
As the thousands push their way through daily
Who will be cut, and who will bleed
And who will get away
To survive this and find the sun again
Somewhere, someday

“No Country Called Home” 2015

Marius writes: “[A] poem to remember 30 great whales that died in a very short period of time, recently, in the Gulf of Alaska (oh, where Shell just showed up to explore for oil, right?) The title is the actual code that the deaths come under for a piece of legislation.”

An Unusual Mortality Event
It has been “most difficult”, said Rowles, the scientist who
Said samples have been unobtainable
And as they are also (sadly) edible,
They’ve become elusive proofs, eviscerated beyond plain investigation
Hungry bears have wrecked havoc (and one might ask just why ARE they so hungry now?)
At the scene of the crime,
Leaving the system without an approved explanation (hence Dr. Rowles’ aggravation)
The Gulf of Alaska’s dark waters hold the secret still, a mystery
An anomaly, a rarity in history
And N.O.A.A., without a plan to build an ark
To save the giant whales
Cannot explain the sudden death of these
30 souls lost at sea
But my standard guess is: it’s just humanity
Once again blundering in our desperate way
Whether it be heating waters (from coal plants or from cars)
Or the military’s blasting (always preparing for more wars)
Or the missing fish we’ve vacuumed up and thrown half dead away
Or maybe just pollution drifting past
The pumping chimneys in their vast array
Or algal blooms (from oil spills) or airplane plumes (that cause reef kill)
Or any of a host of things we do
There’s no solid evidence, of course my dear,
But certainly lots of clues

Whale Watching 2014

Whale Watching 2014

New Poetry the lion: ‘We knew this is how he would die’ David McKenzie, CNN

Give Me One Of Them

A dentist and his luggage arrive in Zimbabwe
Cash and carry-on, pushing the buttons of privilege and pardon
That his class feels heir to, a legacy
Of helmeted conquistadors in search of gold or something shiny
Those Roman envoys come for tribute from the territories
Legions come to kill, conquer or tourists
Greasing the palms of hired-hands – the Future’s traitors
Handing off their nation’s treasures to the clamoring idiots
“Give me one of them”, he roars, gesticulating wildly
The ugly American who can buy anything
It’s practically online shopping and no safari
When the trophy’s guaranteed (or your money back)
Swindled and stolen by subterfuge
An empty stomach so often a trap full of entanglements
And so another African will make a Middle Passage
As a corpse
The deed is done, and life converts to property
The ebony-tipped lion dubbed ‘Cecil’
Like an immigrant at Ellis Island changing names and nations all at once,
By bureaucrats who needed a familiar name in their own tongue
Unbecomes, falls into history
Ends his story and his line in blood
The collaborator, Honore`, will pay the price before the law,
But surely honor suffers even more
As the greedy foreign butcher slinks
Behind a sturdy Minnesota door
And we, the wild tribal Diaspora dispersed by birth
From Mother Africa, generations gone and
Scattered loose across the globe, like seeds
Will know ourselves one less

Marius just completed Honeybee Democracy by Thomas D. Seeley.  Check back regularly for what Marius is reading and writing about!


“What’s more political than the question of expendability?” Barry Schwabsky
With clouds on the horizon spotted,
Have we decided yet?
Who will ride the ark with us,
Protected from our floods and pestilences
In valuable concubinage-
And who will sail instead into Eternity? These honeybees, so small
Among the lilies of the field,
That we might miss them altogether,k9267
Especially the rushing bipeds travelling through
A plastic, frantic world
Lives lived indoors, cramped and strangers to the sun.
But the bees make music working
through their quiet summer days, even if there is no one to hear
In fields and orchards, lawns and meadows
Tending their life’s work
And our own as well.
The tiny fuzzy fairies falling
Prey to a darker pall
That spreads a shadow everywhere
The approaching silent spring soon
Minus singing bees
Who, as it turns out,
Are much less expendable than we

Medical Update


UPDATE: Marius’ tooth was pulled last Thursday!  He reported that the swelling and constant pain that has been plaguing him for weeks has nearly gone way.  He finally feels like he can get back to working on projects that he was unable to concentrate on while in pain.

Thank you so much to everyone who called into Carswell!