• Chloe Fenech

Extinction’s Expression (Tasmanian Tiger)


Thylacine, Oils on Canvas, 2012


On 7th September, 1936, Hobart Zoo in Tasmania lost the world’s last Thylacine…

Above is my tribute on canvas.

Stripes of a tiger Away from the tiger. A kangaroo’s gait Without a kangaroo’s legs.

A wolf’s appetite Without a pack.An opossum’s posture Away from the Americas.A marsupial’s pouch Without God’s grace!

Pacing up and down The cage of clowns A Tasmanian tiger awaits The leap of extinction.

Man will weep salt Where once he exhaled saltpeter. Howl pierced by the rifle-shot, Like a star crashing into the moon.

The darkness of new wilderness Brought not the songs of bonfire, But the fear of tamed convicts And their silhouettes of cancerous sheep.

And there is a fear that will not sleep. A fear wed to the chanting monks on the streets of ancient Europa, where all of man’s kingdom is bathed in (stolen) light. I could never feel the heartbeat of death as plainly as when I looked into those living, haunted, dead eyes, the black-and-white prisoners of the camera’s imagining of that mercy seat. I can’t forgive anymore, I’ve lost that Christian fox in the hole of my inner being. There are too many guns drowning out the once promised choirs.

Free the human animal from its cages of myrrh, gold and musk. The gifts that elevated our gaze upwards, making the earth a dark, crawling desert teeming with the misunderstood. To drink the blood of communion is to hunger for the blood of the hunt. A hunt without equals, as that between a king and a whore. A hunt drenched in saline myths, that can only end in yelps of flapping eye-lids. And if man were a butterfly he would fly to the Milky Way to learn the knowledge of atomic supernovas.

The tears of St. Lawrence that shower the once-proud sky every August weep only for their own nature. They who once soothed the embryonic earth in frozen life, giving it reprieve from the volcanic storms, is now but a slave to a thieving saint. The shooting star has been enslaved, and its prison cell-mates makes a sorrowful list: the Americas, the Mediterranean skyline, and Tasmania.

Words by Justin Fenech

Further Reading: http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/blogs/on-this-day/2010/09/on-this-day-death-of-the-last-tasmanian-tiger?adbsc=social_20160906_65124136&adbid=10153882401008339&adbpl=fb&adbpr=100614418338

#writing #Poetry #tasmaniantiger #extinction #tiger #thylacine #literature #justinfenechauthor #poem #hobartzoo #conservationliterature #newzealand

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