"Seven bums and fourteen legs,
a brazen ecstasy which begs
the question some of us are asking -
is Peter Goulding multi-tasking?"

Martin Parker, Editor, Lighten Up Online

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Elephants' Graveyard

Okay, Willow's challenge this week was to write a piece inspired by the little fecker above. This is my piece. For much more accomplished takes on the prompt, please visit the link to the site above.

In the elephants’ graveyard, the space is quite tight,
For reasons not too hard to figure.
The corpses to acreage ratio’s quite
A bane to the poor old gravedigger.
He silently curses
At elephant hearses
(He’d hoped they’d be cured by the elephant nurses)
He frantically digs as the black truck reverses.
He’s been working all day and for half of the night
But still the hole needs to be bigger.

In the elephants’ graveyard, it takes forty men
To drop the oak box down the gully.
The each grab a yard of the wire rope and then
They lower it down on a pulley.
The tired volunteers
Mouthe unspoken cheers
As the bloody great box inch by inch disappears
While the elephant’s family stands round in tears.
And every man whispers a breathless “Amen”
When the coffin is lowered down fully.

In the elephants’ graveyard, (where life’s been trunk-ated)
The worms are the crème de society.
Their body mass index is grossly inflated
Compared to the garden variety.
From the moment of birth
There is never a dearth
Of elephant flesh in the bounteous earth.
They spend their existence augmenting their girth.
Thank God that the elephants don’t get cremated,
They say, with a touch of anxiety.


  1. Those would be some darn big cremation urns!

  2. "He’s been working all day and for half of the night
    But still the hole needs to be bigger."

    Don't we all know that feeling too well! :D

    You got a lot out of that little picture! Quite clever and fun. :)

  3. What a clever take on the prompt!

  4. Wonderful read - amusing - 'curses, hearses, nurses, reverses' - great visuals!

  5. "Trunk-ated" - marvelous. You're a very talented poet, Peter.

  6. A rhyming festival. Excellent.

  7. You did an excellent job with this, Peter. (I love the asides in parentheses.) The last line is brilliant both in terms of the rhyme and the reason.


  8. Wonders what elephants look like as soap mummies. Pachedermia undertakers - oh the jumbo headache and stiff back! Great and mighty poem ~ thanks for the jiggles!

  9. whew...i cant stop feeling the nig worms crawling in and out...what a unique take on the theme...

  10. That was fun. Thanks for the smile.

  11. Wonderful fun! Trunk-ated, oh my!

  12. Totally original..sort of brilliant..yes, really brilliant! Great details..keep my eye on you!!

  13. Wonderful I had to read fast to keep up as it gathered speed towards the end and I loved the rhyming it is so clever... brilliant!

  14. this was just pure fun!


  15. Pete I just love your sense of rhythm. This was real fun, a bit dark and a bit serious. Cheers. Looking forward to more.

  16. Peter,
    Well done! I like the way your mind works; full of imagination.

    As for my piece and Hemmingway: There is a link at the bottom of my piece that will take you to the Hemmingway short story.
    It's about a girl named Jig who is pregnant and her male friend wishes her to have an abortion.
    Thanks for sopping by.

  17. Hilarious! Loved this line: "In the elephants’ graveyard, (where life’s been trunk-ated)."

  18. I love the trunk-ated line too. Great reading. I am enjoying this little project.

  19. Peter.

    Oh what a elephants tale you weave,,"In the elephants’ graveyard, the space is quite tight,"
    great choice of verse.. what a visual read, I was feeling sorry for the volunteers,,, wondering how it was going to turn out -- and then the far side picture being I am a far sided thinker perfect ending -- it was a good read and a great laugh at the end.

    I must say I loved that ditty you wrote in the previous post -- a great photo of the young lady and her beau, saying good bye and then whack ---I am laughing as I type -- it is that wacky sense of humor you do so well.
    thanks for the comment on my post-- in lieu of a ring -- getting published and funded is a huge bonus what they live for in that industry. I cannot image the heroine digging in the dirt with diamonds. Accomplishing more as a couple then as one.. moral of the story like a pair of elephants? or is it pair of ducks?

  20. smiling and feeling for the gravedigger--great post!

  21. Pete, loved your take on the prompt. Breezy, with great visuals - loved the one of gravediggers breathlessly mouthing 'Amen'.

  22. Your work is bold your spirit is awesome, and you are courageous and free -- come visit me…


  23. (yes..it took me a day or two to get here...dad is in the hospital and i am running far behind my internet time~apologies to you)

    i needed this read...
    this work which took me on a jaunt...
    a jaunt filled with gray merriment and tongue in cheek moments (or trunk in cheek~should i say)!
    a well played hand...yes, Peter...well played indeed!

  24. Very funny Peter. Loved the rollicking rhythm. Almost limerical (if there's such a word).