Heidi StephensonThe End of the Line
Animal Rights Poetry By Heidi Stephenson From All-Creatures.org

Poems of compassion dedicated to the non-human animals who share this planet with us and the people who fight for them.

The End of the Line
By Heidi Stephenson

The city of London was a paradise once:
Green Park, Forest Hill, Wood Lane, Bushey...
Stamford Brook, Island Gardens, Mudchute, Greenwich...

Where animals lived in harmony with nature:
Heron Quays, Peckham Rye, Goldhawk Road, Cockfosters...
Warren Street, Frognall, Barkingside, Hendon...

And humans lacked the tools for mass destruction.
 
Their numbers thrived; with habitat and food for all:
Finsbury Park, Finchley Road, Buckhurst Hill, Hatch End...
Ravenscourt Park, Blackhorse Road, Lambeth North, Hornchurch...

And homo “sapiens sapiens” looked on in wonder and awe:
 Honor Oak Park, Clapham Common, Becontree, Temple...
Canary Wharf, Isle of Dogs, White City, Angel...

Paying tribute to fellow beings with place names.
 
But fascination soon turned to exploitation:
Shepherd’s Bush, Chalk Farm, Snaresbrook, Stockwell...
Ealing Common, Canning Town, East Ham, West Ham...

And man was bent on killing his animal brother:
Hackney Downs, Kilburn Park, Dagenham East, Battersea...
Pudding Mill Lane, Hyde Park Corner, Bow Road, Rotherhithe...

And making money from his flesh and blood.
 
Capitalism killed off all Compassion: 
Mansion House, Highgate, Ruislip Manor, Richmond...
Golders Green, Swiss Cottage, Crystal Palace, Bank....

He abused ‘till there was no tomorrow:
Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Circus, Bond Street, Harrow...
Elephant and Castle, Burnt Oak, Colliers Wood, Fairlop.

While the heavens despaired over man’s Free Will.
 
London was soon emptied of her creatures:
Park Royal, Queensway, Kingsway, Gunnersbury...
Redbridge, Hanger Lane, Bounds Green, Arsenal...

As Church and State betrayed earth and creature, for transcendentalism:
Blackfriars, St Paul’s, Abbey Road, New Cross...
Parson’s Green, Canons Park, Belsize Park, All Saints...

And concrete, material ‘values,’ were preached - and flourished.
 
Until all that remained was a distant green memory:
Woodside Park, Elm Park, Moor Park, Greenford...
Heathrow, Wood Green, Oakwood, Southfields....

In a deathly, nether world, gone underground:
Imperial Wharf, Hammersmith, Fulham, Wealdstone...
Chancery Lane, Knightsbridge, Manor House, Morden.

Hurtling towards the End of The Line.

[All the place names are real, based on the London Underground map.]

© Heidi Stephenson, October, 2014 


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