Little Mercy


Red Ape
a man orangutan

russet, big, robust
hunkers behind a tree
in a river in Borneo
having furtively crossed

—furtively because he knows Man men
who tread the earth with jackboots
rule these parts ruthlessly
and have little mercy for his kind

have little mercy

have cut themselves from Mother
with the knife edge of
dollar bills

cut themselves with
little mercy

Jim Culleny


Photograph by Jayaprakash Joghee Bojan, 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year

Orangutans in Borneo