Circus Elephant

I am the circus elephant

hollow, empty, angry, deranged

taken from all that was important to me

my heart was broken

my soul was bled

born to exist as part of a family

proud as a member, loved and alive

my days were joyful

I had children who I loved so much

and they, with my brothers and sisters

were my whole life

my reason to exist

I am now alone

tortured daily

to perform for you

and I do

dead, without purpose

my existence is empty

like my soul

and all my days

endless and dark

are spent hoping

that some day


perhaps when my tormentors

are at ease

I will show you my anger

my twisted and broken heart

will know only rage

as I run from this life

to certain death

crushing as many of you as I can

running in any direction

devoid of all hope

not even remembering the joy of play

or the love I once knew

I will die screaming

when you kill me

and set me free

© 2011  Michael Fiveson

33 thoughts on “Circus Elephant

  1. This hurts. So much. How can something so painful to read be so beautiful? How do you do that? This one hit me hard. I boycott circuses with animals (along with TV programs with animals, and any other entertainment-based media which uses animals). And, as you know from my blog, I am passionate about elephants. They, along with apes, are as close to human as wildlife can be. I fell in deep, lifelong love while working with them in Sri Lanka. This poem evidences that you understand them intimately. I am so moved by this post…


  2. Wow. I loved this. Very powerful. Felt it tug on the strings of my heart. I have dealt with tremendous misfortune and pain, and I can feel you have as well. Bless you in your mission to share your light with the world. Love and Light, Celeste.
    Thank you for the like! 🙂


  3. sad.
    and the sadness become deeper when realize that animals suffer for our thirst of entertainment and pride.
    the elephant sometime is me…sometimes is you- and the circus is the world who’s clapping and laughing.


  4. That is hauntingly beautiful and so well expressed. I am a lover of elephants…so this really spoke to my soul. Thank you so much for sharing. Amazing.


  5. It should be weird that we can relate to an elephant, but we can, can’t we? How else could you have captured so perfectly, the truth of this poem?

    Love to read these posts, Mike. I hope I can get to them more often.


    • That poem still resonates for me and there is a large print not 5 ft from this laptop of an extended group of elephants in their natural habitat. Nothing crueler than an animal chained and beaten, and that includes oppressed animals of the human kind. Thanks Robyn.

      Liked by 1 person

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