Guest Post: Song of the Naked Ape

Here’s a poem from a gentleman of my close acquaintance, who, 16 years after we first met, continues to surprise me.

He’s also the master of Marigold House (at least in human terms – we all know Bandit rules all),  father of my child, and a poet in his own right.

In this poem, he muses on evolutionary theory, and part of posting here arises from his curiosity about connecting with other poets writing about evolution and science.

Although the Judeo-Christian concept of ‘The Fall’ features prominently, this work also touches notes that resonate with the concept Mitayuki Oyasin – All My Relations – that

we are all related, in the larger song of life.


The Song of the Naked Ape

by Douglas Barrett


Long long ago, when the world was young,

an ape tribe lived in the jungle

they lived their ape lives

they chased after mates

they loved their ape loves

they seethed their ape hates

from ancient green canopy’s branches we swung

life was good for a tribe in the jungle.


What was the misfortune, the bad luck, the shame

that drove one tribe from the jungle?

No one can say how

one tribe of apes fell

familiar heaven

to mysterious hell

from our canopy torn, forced to stake a new claim

on the prairie beyond the jungle.


Long, long ago, under skies open wide

a wolf pack lived on the prairie

couples for life

mice and fowl they ate

but hunt as a pack

and no prey was too great.

howl at the moon, then snuggle at night

life was good for a pack on the prairie.


Evolution is cruel for those that behave

like an ape tribe out on the prairie

generations of sorrow

the storied stones told

how Nature’s hard hand

crafts the new from the old

survive or die trying, the choice that she gave

made us live like wolves on the prairie.


Once outcasts, now masters, with civilised ways

we’re so far from the jungle and prairie

but the wolf and the ape, both

still speak in my heart

says one, ‘Fierce and loyal!’

says one, ‘Play it smart!’

I’m guided by both as I wander this maze

never leaving the jungle and prairie.



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