At the age of 11, Lysander Christo traveled to the Okavango Delta with his father Cyril Christo. They visited this important location because it is one of the last sanctuaries for megafauna, especially the African elephant, on planet earth. Lysander captured these photos of elephants and a year later composed this poem, reflecting on the plight of this great species.
The Silent Tread
By Lysander Christo, age 12
The silent tread of monumental feet
Parading the land from north to south, from east to west
The ivory glimmers like nothing before
The richest thing one could ever hope for
They guard the trees, they plant the new
When they come and touch you, you sense
the knowledge of godly powers.
For they formed the world that is ours.
And naturally for the traditional human thanks
we blow their brains out with guns that were stripped from tanks
Their serpentine nose reaches painfully towards the scent
Of a friend’s flesh, as he smells them decompose
If you’ve tried to help them,
You will know who is friend and who is foe
For the friend they are majestic
For the foe they are authentic
I do not know how they can face the fateful human race
The race that is made of concentrated disgrace