Education
Paw Prints


Get Tickets

Bugs

 Rio

kidZone

carousel

Giraffe Deck

Backstage Pass

You are here: Home : Education : Poem Look Closer

Look Closer

by Pat Riviere-Seel
 Windows Media Audio Look Closer

 Audio

 
Beneath a tree, the red wolf sleeps alone,
copper fur glistening in the sun.
Casual visitors see nothing there,
walk away. Someone calls, there's one -

see him glistening in the sun.
Another species almost lost,
but we didn't walk away from that one.
Red wolves again roam Carolina's coast.

Another species almost lost.
We're learning late to care for our earth.
Red wolves again roam Carolina's coast.
Africa's endangered lions are returning home.

We're learning late to care for our earth.
Stretched on rocks, lion and lioness doze all day.
Africa's tawny lions are returning home.
The black bear lifts his nose, turns away.

Stretched on rocks, lion and lioness doze all day.
We're learning new ways we all can remain.
The black bear lifts his nose, turns away.
A child's hand against a clear glass pane.

We're learning ways we all can remain.
A baby chimp's palm reaches out.
Two hands against a clear glass pane
speaking a language without words.

Species to species, palms reach out.
Like finding like, their touch aligns us.
We all speak a language without words.
The zebra holds my gaze until I turn away.

Like finding like, a look aligns us.
Watcher and watched, we're both on display.
The zebra holds my gaze until I turn away.
We humans only a part of this space we share.

Watcher and watched, we're both on display
as long as we live in this whole wild world.
We humans a part of this space we share.
Come look! Silent giraffes float toward trees.

As long as we live in this whole wild world
Tyrannosaurus informs us about the last.
Come look! Silent giraffes float toward trees.
Look closer. There's not just one.

Tyrannosaurus informs us about the last.
Casual visitors may see nothing there,
but look closer - there's not just one
beneath that tree. None of us live alone.


dedicated to the North Carolina Zoological Park
June, 2012

Pat Riviere-Seel

"Look Closer" copyright Pat Riviere-Seel, 2012

The poem is a pantoum, a Malayan form that was imitated by the French and English. It is an interlocking poem that begins and ends with the same line. Composed of quatrains, the second and fourth line of each stanza repeats as the first and third line of the next stanza. The pantoum format was chosen because the interlocking structure and repetition reflect the connections among all living beings. Also, the form reinforces the zoo's mission and commitment to "the conservation of the world's wildlife and wild places through the recognition of the interdependence of people and nature."