Silvery Lutung, also known as the silvered leaf monkey, is an Old
World arboreal monkey living in coastal, mangrove, and riverine forests
in Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, and Borneo. Its grey-tipped, dark brown
or black fur, gives it a uniform silvery appearance. The silvery lutung
is a specialist folivore, including a high proportion of leaves in its
diet. Silvery lutings are diurnal, and travel in groups of around 9-40
individuals with one adult male and many adult females communally caring
for infants. They rarely leave the trees, which provide them protection
from ground-dwelling predators, and rapidly flee if threatened. The entire
group shelters in a single tree at night. Local predators able to feed
on silvery lutungs include leopards, tigers, humans, dholes, and some
large snakes. The silvery lutung is classed as Near Threatened , for its
habitat is heavily threatened throughout its range by logging and the
development of oil plantations. The species is also threatened by hunting
for meat and by capture for the pet trade. Likewise, because they are
unusually susceptible to human diseases, including AIDS, they have therefore
been widely used in medical research.
This brilliant winter morning finds
waves of snow on every lawn
and red graffiti dripping
from the walls of Temple Mizpah
as down the street
stroll ancient men
who every morning
shuffle here for prayer.
As usual, they're lost
inside old overcoats,
their collars up,
their scarves too long,
This morning, though,
they don't go in.
They shuffle near the curb
They can't believe
the goose-step scrawl
on every wall.
They know their world's
awry again, an encore
of the chaos left behind
when they were young.
The good thing is,
Chicago's better now
than Berlin back then
even though the temple walls
make clear this morning that
someone's struck another match
and the ovens of Auschwitz
are crackling again.
Donal Mahoney has worked as an editor for The Chicago
Sun-Times, Loyola University Press and Washington University in St.
Louis. A Pushcart nominee, he has had poems published in The Wisconsin
Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review,
The Beloit Poetry Journal, Commonweal, Public Republic
(Bulgaria), Revival (Ireland), The Istanbul Literary Review
(Turkey), Calliope Nerve, Rivets, Pig in a Poke,
Deuce Coupe, Asphodel Madness, Pirene's Fountain
(Australia) and other publications.