The Vanishing Faces of African Wildlife
The Vanishing Faces of African Wildlife – Photographer Fred von Winckelmann and poet Andrew Mercer combine their significant talents to make us think about The Vanishing Faces Of African Wildlife – and the pressing need to preserve their safety and their habitat. We must insist that all endangered species and those who are suffering from human encroachment and poaching are protected.
It is never too late for human beings to become all that we are capable of being: kind – compassionate – forgiving – courageous – loving – moral – just and fair.
Now – 2014 – in this unique, beautiful and precious moment in time – we must stand up together and preserve our planet and the sentient beings with whom we are privileged to share it.
We have a moral responsibility to confront – power – corruption – money – ego and ignorance and to champion those who have no voice. We always have the ability to choose reverence for life.
Fred’s beautiful images – not staged or pre-planned but natural, free, wild and magnificent. Andrew’s powerful verses in his stunning poem – The Vanishing. When combined they show us why we must not fail in this endeavour.
Fred von Winckelmann
It will be a sombre world indeed if any of these exquisite animals cease to thrive and the African landscape is denuded of its exquisite beauty.
We – world citizens – can speak up and say we will never consent to this happening. Can you imagine what we could accomplish if we stood together! I am always hopeful that the greatness of which human kind is capable will never surrender to the evil which exists in the world. Fred and Andrew make me believe that this is possible!
So take a moment and ask yourself what you can do in your place in the world. We cannot all travel to Africa and take incredible photographs or pen a thought provoking poem. But we can write a letter – sign a petition – talk to a friend – or make a small donation to a charity that supports an issue that is near to our hearts. We can all be kind. We can speak up when we see bullying or cruelty of any sort. We can explain compassion to our kids. We can challenge politicians in countries where it is safe to do so. We can make cruelty-free buying decisions. We can adopt a pet. We can volunteer our time where people power is needed. We can participate and contribute and watch as the small ripples around our lives becomes waves. Every small act of kindness and caring matters and spreads out from itself to distances we can not even imagine!
Fred’s Beautiful Images Highlighted By Andrew’s Profoundly Intelligent Poem.
AND BEAUTY WEARS A COUNTENANCE
WITH THE RADIANCE OF BIRTH.
LIKE A NEW-BORN SCREAMS IN COLOURS
ACROSS THE SPECTRUM OF THE EARTH.
A WORLD WHERE ALL LIFE LISTENS TO
A RHYTHM LIKE A WAVE.
WHICH GATHERS SOUND AND BREAKS UPON
THIS ABUNDANCE THAT GOD GAVE.
EVERY LIFE A CELEBRATION
EVERY VOICE WAS RAISED IN SONG.
EVERY ANGEL HELD THE MELODY
IN HEARTS THAT KNEW NO WRONG.
HEAVEN SMILED UPON CREATION
AND THE CHILDREN SAW THE STARS.
THEY LAUGHED WITH ALL THE INNOCENCE
THAT ONLY HATRED MARS.
RESPECT FOR EVERY LIVING THING
AN OATH THE LIVING TOOK.
BUT MAN NOW SWORE WITH OTHERS BLOOD
HIS GUILTY FINGERS SHOOK.
THESE STORMS HAVE RAGED A THOUSAND YEARS
WITH NATURE ON HER KNEES.
HER CHILDREN SCREAM FROM HEADSETS
THROUGH THE SILENCE OF CUT TREES.
EACH TIME WE HACK A FOREST DOWN
WE’RE CHIPPING AT OUR SOUL.
BURNING ON THIS FUNERAL PYRE
WE WATCH IT TURN TO COAL.
NOW BLOOD SEEPS FROM THE HEAVENS
WILL IT DROWN OUR LAST SUNSET.
ABSORBING EVERY COLOUR ‘TIL
WE’RE LEFT WITH BLEAK REGRET.
ON THE BAKING EARTH A MESSAGE
A TIRED MANTRA TO EMBRACE.
WRITTEN IN THE BONES OF THOSE
WHOSE LIVES WE CAN’T REPLACE.
AND FOR THOSE WHO HAVE TO FOLLOW
THROW DUST INTO THE AIR.
FOR EVERY GRAIN THAT WAS A LIFE
BEFORE MAN CEASED TO CARE!
AND MEMORIES AS OLD AS LIFE
CAUGHT WITHIN THIS FRAME.
MOZAICS OF A PROUDER TIME
DIVERSE YET STILL THE SAME.
A VOICE THAT TOLD OF CYCLES
OF GROWTH WITHIN DECAY.
WHERE DEATH AND BIRTH PERPETUATE
WHERE NIGHT CONSUMES EACH DAY.
A CADENCE FOR EACH SEASON
A RHYTHM FROM THE PAST.
EACH SPECIES DANCES ITS OWN STEPS
THAT SHOULD FOREVER LAST.
A BALANCE FOR EACH LIVING THING
WHERE ALL THINGS PLAY THEIR PART.
WHERE THE EBB AND FLOW ETERNALLY
BRINGS THE END BACK TO THE START.
WHAT PUNISHMENT SHALL FIT THIS CRIME?
FOR THE TREACHERY AND LYING.
THE HOURGLASS IS FILLED WITH BONES
WHERE SAND POURS ON THE DYING.
AND AFRICA A SKELETON
AGAINST A SICKLE MOON.
POINTING AT THIS KILLING GROUND
A PORTENT OF OUR DOOM.
A DESERT FULL OF EMPTINESS
STILL ECHOES WITH THE PAIN.
AND VOICES TRAPPED IN CRUELTY
CALL OUT THROUGH THE RAIN.
THE SILENCE JUST HOLDS FRAGMENTS
STILL QUESTIONING THE PAST.
LIKE PICTURES FADE TO NOTHINGNESS
THE DREAM COULD NEVER LAST.
OUR LIVES DEVOID OF MEANING
WHAT’S LOST SHALL NOT BE FOUND.
UNTIL SOMEHOW OUR SPIRITS FIND
WHATS BURIED IN THIS GROUND.
SO TELL YOUR CHILDREN FAIRY TALES
AS THE TEARS FALL ON THE PAGE.
WHEN WE KILLED WHAT MADE US HUMAN
TO EMBRACE AN EMPTY AGE.
WHEN THE YEARS HAVE FILLED EACH HOOFPRINT
WITH THE DUST THAT ONCE WAS BONE.
THE DRY WIND WILL STILL REMIND US
WE SHALL ALWAYS BE ALONE!