Saturday, December 12, 2015
Pareidolia: On The Wall At Hostal La Casita
On the wall at Hostal La Casita
the head of a three-eyed elephant
with square ears and a bright spiral trunk
that lights up the blackness of the night.
African, Indian or fixture of a faraway age,
like the Atlas elephants, now extinct,
Hannibal herded over the Alps?
As darkness bleeds into elephant gray,
day rises over the roof tiles well after dawn
somewhere without walls.
He greets the sunrise watching the shadows
of hand and pen on illuminated page.
E. A. Costa 12 December, 2015 Granada, Nicaragua
N.B.: The Atlas elephant (Loxodonta africana pharaoensis), also known as
the North African Elephant, the North African Forest Elephant, and the
Carthaginian or Punic elephant, pictured among other places on Carthaginian
coins and now extinct, constituted surely the bulk of Hannibal's war elephants,
except his own personal one, Surus or “The Syrian”, which was likely Indian.
Interestingly enough, in his histories, the elder Cato, who never named individual
war heroes, named Surus because he had far surpassed every standard of virtus
for an elephant. (Pliny, Natural History, VIII.5)