Animal Cruelty

*****Chick, Chick, Chick


Factory farm raised and led;
in the end, factory farm bled,
Rick, a chick, was yellow and red,
living in a cramped cage and fed.

“It’s Rick!” the little chick said
as his beaten head again bled.
He blinked his eyes instead
while they also turned red.

“I have my own name,”
said Rick, a little confined chick.
“It’s Rick! I’m not to blame
if humans don’t get the trick.”

In his beginning, Rick
was small, weak in frame,
not at all a worthy chick,
and unquestionably lame.

By feed and water and corn
little Rick the chick grew.
His keepers, never forlorn,
were a gleeful, chatty crew.

“I have my own name,”
said Rick, little unhappy chick.
“It’s Rick! I’m not to blame
if humans don’t get the trick.”

Rick wouldn’t squeak or squawk
about the abuse he endured,
never thought to talk about
relatives ever penned and secured.

Then came the stormy night
when Rick and others fled.
Stepping hard with great might,
they escaped, and many bled.

“I have my own name,”
said Rick, a little yellow chick.
“It’s Rick! I’m not to blame
if humans don’t get the trick.”

Of course, freedom couldn’t last
with many humans close behind.
Rick and others had a past;
hands around them did wind.

Now all’s quiet in the shed
where Rick and others bake,
for time’s not long ahead
’til humans come and take.

“I have my very own name,”
said Rick, little fenced-fed chick.
“It’s Rick! I’m not to blame
if humans don’t get the trick.”


Credit: Photo courtesy of



Living in the now


*****Nature’s Man-Made Disaster

In waters thick with sinking oil, black oblivion bows
Nature’s lovely creatures struggling to live in their now.
How has Man caused such sorrow?

The gorgeous Gulf Stream waters by Nature still glow,
but oil gushes by hours into their sacred flow.
How can it continue so?

Gallons of crude force the Pelicans and pretty birds
aloft; black-oiled, wet wings send them back to Earth.
How will they prevail?

Living in a midnight of oil, rescued Pelicans now
by day get a washing of Dawn soap, and how!
But will they see their tomorrow?

Oysters that used to be many for a living,
now sink to a murky grave, void of giving.
Can Man correct this wrong?

Shrimp float up from the water onto the Louisiana shore;
fish no longer breathing increase the deaths by many more.
Which can live in their now?

Watery creatures to watery, briney deaths continue to go.
Recovery, generations away, will never be better than slow.
How can Man claim no foul?

Can turtles swim in their now? Nor do oily birds usually rise.
Nor is it Nature’s true lot to exist in danger of Man’s lies.
The Gulf’s sad now remains still.

Nature’s Man-made scars over many years spontaneously heal;
feathered, shelled, finned souls grievously wronged can’t appeal.
Man, too, must live in his now.

No time now for Man to argue, name-call, and assign blame.
Cries from Nature’s own to live in their now remain lame,
unless Man reaches deeply to rise.


Poem and Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg


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***** Oiled Pelicans

Man’s eternal pursuit of the mighty buck
in the stark midnight of oil’s imparted hour
has caused all of Nature to drown in muck.
An exploded rig departed from its bower.

Man’s fretful dilemma comes to mind
as the birds sway heavily to and fro,
and the upright animals only find
their friends of Nature cannot grow.

Pelicans in dangerous, dreadful woe
can find no single heroic master
of calamity, no champion, or foe
to change this, their multiple disaster.

As the Gulf Stream waters do flow,
circulating the Pelican young away,
their parents remain with an oiled glow.
Without wings, or recourse, they must stay.

When, alas, the rallied winds blow,
and the calm seas wildly rage,
will the birds, the Pelicans, go?
Will the young ones come of age?

Crabs, turtles, creatures who crawl
will long be doomed to fall,
while Man engages in a brawl
to set the blame to law.


Peom and photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg