Napo 7: Poetry, The News, and Cocaine Hippos
I think this poem might need a little context:
I'm writing it in response to this news story: Pablo Escobar's Cocaine Hippos Might Be Restoring Colombia's Ecosystem. It made me think about mistakes, how good can come from terrible circumstances, and how maybe we have to blunder in order to create beauty, harmony, and salvation.
Let’s be honest: You were a mistake—
Like a child conceived in the backseat of a Buick,
Something that seemed like a good idea once
Between puffs of a joint and swigs of Jack.
And then, months later, there you were—
The hippo in the room
That everyone can smell
But no one looks in the eye,
The bastard child of bluster and bravado.
Set loose upon the world,
You had no idea how to survive
In this kind of jungle, here,
in the wreckage of a palace built on lies,
and the ruin of love and money,
except to be simply be yourself:
large, angry, and always hungry.
They said your presence was unwelcome—
That you were destroyer of harmony,
An ugly face, a fat butt, a scourge.
You devoured what belonged here all along,
Pooped pollution. So who could have guessed
That you, only you, could be the savior
Of this ecosystem: exactly what the flora
Needed, what the fauna needed,
What the heart of this jungle needed.
You, big and large and maybe beautiful
After all, you were the keystone
That fit into the Amazon’s wild heart,
And clicked, and turned, and flourished.
Oh cocaine hippos of Columbia,
You give me hope that misfits,
That terrible mistakes, that even tragedies
And train wrecks like me
Might be a part of some cosmic plan
For all to be right in the jungle again,
For the salvation of our broken world.