The Fear of Monkeys - The Best E-Zine on the Web for Politically Conscious WritingPurple-Faced Langur - Issue Thirty
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Purple-faced Langur from  Christiano Artuso The Purple - Faced Langur is an Old World monkey endemic to Sri Lanka. They are long-tailed, arboreal, mostly brown species with a dark face and a very shy nature. They live in closed canopy forests in Sri Lanka's mountains and the southwestern part of the country, known as the "wet zone". They are mostly folivorous, but will also feed on fruits like Dimocarpus longan and Drypetes sepiaria, flowers, and seeds. While they normally avoid human habitations, fruit such as jak, rambutan, banana, and mango may contribute up to 50% to their diet in cultivated areas. Their digestive tract, with its specialized stomach bacteria, has evolved to derive the majority of their required nutrients and energy from complex carbohydrates found in leaves. Males are usually larger than females and both have black to grayish brown coats, and whitish to gray short 'trousers' rounded off by purplish-black faces with white sideburns. Part of the back is covered with whitish fur, and tail is also furred with black and white mixed colors. Feet, and hands are also purplish-black in color. They use vocalization to alert members of predators, attract mates, defend territory, and locate group members. Like humans, adult males are the most vocal among the entire group and their defensive whooping calls are also accompanied by intense visual and locomotive displays. Their range has constricted greatly in the face of human encroachment, although it can still be seen in Sinharaja, Kitulgala, Kandalama, Mihintale, in the mountains at Horton Plains National Park or in the rainforest city of Galle. Populations are critically low within and between sites. Threats to this species include infringement on range by croplands, grazing, changing agriculture, road production, soil loss/erosion and deforestation, poisoning from prevention of crop raiding, and hunting for medicine and food.




Ken Poyner

Little Johnny is learning to read.
Look how he forms his 'o's and 'a's.
He rounds his mouth silently,
Drags his attention along with a finger.
He will do well on the standardized tests,
Fit in with the statistics we want to show.

Little Johnny works along at just the right pace.
This is not too difficult for him,
Though he finds surprises, and can
Be proud of the grammar text tentatively pushing out
From his workman's unlined shirt pocket.

We are not making him any great thinker:
But he will make a remarkable citizen,
At the end have the education he needs
To be a serious consumer, a maker
Of debt, someone who shows up
On time and tends to his cares methodically.

Our processes nurture him to his own best ends
And he can be assured with the fact
That, one day, his yet-to-be-born one-point-four children
Will have the same large, backyard-garden sized menu
Of life-achievement opportunities as he has now.

In a moment, Johnny will be on
To pre-algebra. He will be tapping
His thumb to small numbers, and drawing
Imaginary symbols on the palm of his hand:
His not yet scarred, square, muffled, worker's hand.

We keep close to our hearts the hope
That, one day, that hand, steadily and proudly,
With the numbers both friend and foe,
Will write sufficiently safe and solvent mortgage checks;
Will give, so we will not have to take.


Ken’s latest collection of short, wiry fiction, “Constant Animals”, and his latest collection of surprising poetry, “Victims of a Failed Civics”, can be obtained from Barking Moose Press, at Barking Moose Press, or Amazon, or Sundial Books. He often serves as strange, bewildering eye-candy at his wife’s power lifting affairs. His poetry of late has been sunning in “Analog”, “Asimov’s”, “Poet Lore”, “The Kentucky Review”; and his fiction has yowled in “Spank the Carp”, “Red Truck”, “Café Irreal”, “Bellows American Review”. More to come.
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