The Arts Directory Of Transylvania County, NC

The Arts Directory Of Transylvania County, NC

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eston e. roberts


Literary Arts




Poet, novelist, and philosopher. I prefer poetry, and feel that art best illustrates the conscious use of metaphor.

Artist Philosophy / Bio

The Last Rhinoceros

The rhinoceros is portly,
His nose a pirate's hook,
His eyes two twisted walnuts,
His skin a wrinkled map.
He stands upon a promontory
And takes a last-gasp look
At the panaromic view before him.

To his left there heaves an ocean,
To his right a desert land,
And in front of him a jungle--
Pucked and pocked and dying--
Stretches out a jaundiced hand
That clenches, breathes, expands
Into a fist, a gasping lung, an angry flowering.

Behind him lies a Canaan, a
Thorn-guarded garden-home,
An empty gourd, a shattered urn
Once named Byzantium,
Jerusalem, and Camelot--
Places of broken dreams
Abandoned now, forgotten, to the greed of

"They stand, these puny humans,"
The doomed rhinoceros said, "Atop
The feeding chain. They rule
The seas, the climate. They govern everything--
Except themselves. Apparently,
They are either blind or stupid,
Or consciously conniving beyond imagining.

"They must be myths or fables--
Those narratives I hear. How they
Kill or wound their leaders
With tubes of rifled steel, how
They swaddle babes in linens,
Enstatue them in churches, then crucify or burn them:

"How they manufacture fictions--gross
Obscenities, metaphors
Of race and trade and torture--
And proceed to live by them
As though they were epistles
From the very mouth of God:
Self-made laws conveying them to their earned

"The way looms long for me, and I,
The last rhinoceros, must shake
From off my hooves and hide, the dirt
And dust of dying vanities
And voyage to tomorrow. Perchance
Some world may hear this, some poet-priest

Humanity corrupts the world with its
careless metaphors."

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