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Frank Koerner

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Slipping Through The Cracks
by Frank Koerner
Rated "G" by the Author.
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The world’s two biggest manufacturers of musical instruments have stopped buying ivory for their piano keys because of public pressure to protect elephants. Yamaha developed a replacement from plastic that is not inferior to ivory in function. Yamaha started using plastic after clearing its ivory inventory. Kawai followed its lead and stopped importing ivory for use in piano keyboards. Last year it used 650 pounds of ivory to make 800 luxury pianos, which accounted for 1.6 percent of its production.


The sound of beautiful music necessitated an elephant die. 

Now a bit of sanity has reached piano maker Kawai. 

Along with Yamaha Company, they have finally seen the light, 

Stopped making their keys of ivory, ending the elephants' plight.


To think this majestic animal is killed only for use of its tusk, 

Used in pleasure products and we thought the killing was just. 

The human ego is gigantic and such things do us amuse, 

Without realizing damage to any species shortens our own fuse.

The death of an elephant is not pleasant to see. Falling, spastic.
All to make some keys, which are just as good in plastic.
Or provide some glamorous trinket to grace a woman's neck,
Is it worth the tragedy of killing? A species blithely wreck?


It was a matter of economics. Bottom line. Market share. 

That really determined the policy and not that companies care. 

For a lousy one percent of sales on their upscale product line, 

They've decided not to use any ivory. That suits ecologists fine. 


Any victory is to be cheered, which ends a mindless slaughter. 

With such senseless acts, we ought continually brook no quarter. 

Sad that such an action course is not born a humanitarian act. 

Rather it is means that justify ends, with economics firmly backed. 


Someday when we all visit the Great Accountant in the Sky
 And line up there in our final queue to get our share of pie, 

Let us hope Someone won't look at us and say with little fuss 

"Move quickly to the rear, my friend, this is the elephant bus!"

Copyright © 2012 by Frank Koerner  







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Reviewed by jude forese
it's a shame how these majestic animals are butchered for their tusks ... supposedly there are about 10 million mammoths buried in Siberia ... they are extinct and do not threaten any living species ... go after their tusks for the ivory instead of the elephant ... you poem explores the ivory business, perhaps include the Siberian mammoth angle ... i like the sarcasm in the finale ...
Reviewed by pat medlin
just too good! loved the ending lines
Reviewed by Diana Legun (Reader)
Unspeakablly true and real. How people contrived that other life forms were their raw materials baffles and repells me. The more writers who express this violation, the better. For me, every write like this is light entering the 'human darkness'. Thank you ~~ DIana
Reviewed by Ronald Hull
Right on! I didn't know about the manufacturers, but I do know that elephant populations are in rapid decline because primarily the Chinese have an insatiable black market need for ivory. What is really sad is the belief that Chinese medicine cures things like sexual dysfunction and amounts to killing the last animals to extinction just for a superstitious belief that animal parts have healing powers. Unfortunately, there are probably fifty million environmentalists in the United States up against five billion, mostly Chinese, who believe that these medicines are for real.

Reviewed by John Flanagan
Thank you, Frank, for this,
for sharing the totally unnecessary
suffering and death not only elephants
but so many other animals endure for our
pleasure and greed and luxury; in my part of
the world trade in tiger and rhino parts
and a host of others still goes on
and with no end in sight

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