Reading the Signs

I levitate above my bed
with all those dogs clinging to my feet
eyeless, toothless, headless
the blue flowers on my white
bed sheets burst red
the fishermen around
read the future in dingy scales

I walk in these bare streets
dragging words behind me
heavy like carcasses
crying: listen!, listen!
but I hear no echo
just a flattering of wings
behind barred windows

I climb the walls of my bunker
pull at roots, filaments and fur
choke with the smell of burning flesh
cover my eyes with barbed wire
aghast at seeing the signs
branded on the festering cortex
of an army of mutants

I wrote the poem “reading the signs” during my involvement with the protest movement against the massacre of stray dogs in Eastern Europe in the last few years. It has some shocking imagery, but the reality was much worse, so I think it is important to use writing to raise awareness and motivate ever more people to join the protest.

© Aprilia Zank


The focus of "The BeZine," a publication of The Bardo Group Beguines, is on sacred space (common ground) as it is expressed through the arts. Our work covers a range of topics: spirituality, life, death, personal experience, culture, current events, history, art, and photography and film. We share work here that is representative of universal human values however differently they might be expressed in our varied religions and cultures. We feel that our art and our Internet-facilitated social connection offer a means to see one another in our simple humanity, as brothers and sisters, and not as “other.” This is a space where we hope you’ll delight in learning how much you have in common with “other” peoples. We hope that your visits here will help you to love (respect) not fear. For more see our Info/Mission Statement Page.

3 thoughts on “Reading the Signs

  1. Thanks for raising awareness, Aprilia. I’ve signed countless petitions and donated to SoiDog Foundation, among others. So many people don’t even know about the horrors these poor animals face. Thank you again!


  2. I think this raises awareness not only for dogs, but for all animal abuse situations. There was this photo circulating online at some point, in which there were a huge shark and a man in diving suit, and the text on the photo was something like “This is the most dangerous animal in the world, responsible for millions of deaths each year. By his side we can see a white shark swimming peacefully.” Now, putting aside the irony, the truth beyond it is awfully harsh, and it should become history (even if terribly shameful history for the human race).


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