Bright Jewels – a poem by Lynley Tulloch

Posted on January 1, 2019

Our lives intermingle: on the sidelines peeking out at us from slaughter trucks, and when they are on our plate.    They call out to us to have mercy, to stop killing them, to change, to evolve ….   Let’s make 2019  the year that truly marks the beginning of the end of animal slaughter.


A ghostly form in our imagination,

A nagging whisper of existence,

Invisible / visible.


Snippets on the transport truck,

Tail hanging out, tuft of hair,

Pushing through the iron.


A smell, strong and pungent

Settling thickly in our noses insisting:

‘We are here!’

‘We exist!’ they call to us in bellows, bleats and grunts.


They watch from behind the bars.

Their eyes blink slowly,

Carefully, over bright jewels.


Rhythmic breaths taking in the smudgy air,

Chests rising and falling

Gentle noses pressing against unforgiving iron.


The truck sways and jolts, stops.

Soon their blood will rush through Earth’s veins

Streams of red soon to be spilled on concrete floors

And washed to nowhere.


We stop their beating hearts.

Hairs that pricked up at touch

Forming a coat of unique existence

A point of contact and strength

Are now stained red with our bloodlust.

Our hearts burn and twist with the shame of murder.


They exist now on the plate and in the cup.

Their pleasing smell intermingles with us.

‘You are here’! we say.  ‘Now we see you’.


They are not us, they are us.

Rhythms of their existence pulse gently as the ocean,

Inside our bodies but outside our minds,

Inside our culture, but outside our souls.

Inside of language but outside of meaning.


They are spirits; but brief, like smoke.

‘See us’

They whisper from the plates on your table

‘Hear us’.



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