The performance poem ANIMALS, is meant to be read aloud by six people. Each verse commences when the person reading that verse hears the trigger phrase, which is in bold type at the end of the previous verse (both people read the trigger phrase at the same time). The readings should pass through the group and then back to the beginning (More pain) to then pass through another cycle (two cycles should be enough to avoid reader and audience fatigue). Titles of each verse should be carried by the speaker on A3 card. “MONKEY” and “ALICIA” do read at the same time: it is meant to be a bit chaotic. Readers wear animal masks.
PIG (wear pig mask)
More pain and cries and fears
Oh, let there be peace at the end of my tears.
Chained upside down, stunned but aware,
And the noise and the kicks. And the hate and the glare
Unstoppable screaming, my life blood streaming
My life has been filled with pains but this is worse,
Worse than anything I know
FISH (fish mask)
I know that I rule
Down here, blue and cool
Swift I am, easily I escape the chasing cod
Another world beyond the rod.
And yet the nets come down to capture friend and foe
Stomach churning, eyes stare
Drowning in this world of air
The fear of death is all I know
Alicia (with the lisp and the lollypop) MONKEY (monkey mask)
All I know is what to eat, All I know is the jungle,
Lollypops, and cakes, and fresh meat Life without care
I’m cute little Alicia, I am only thwee Games amongst the green leaves
Dead animals I like for dinner and tea In the warm damp air.
All animals I love, my bunnies my Ted But now, no longer free and wild
Even pigs and cows, No smell of my group,
But them, only when they are dead No sight of my child
Farmer Giles (welly boots and Devon accent)
When they are dead, with tears I’m stained
And in my grief, my heart is pained.
I am Farmer Giles, that I am
I makes bacon and ham
I’m kind and I’m wise
And I never tell lies.
I teach the pigs songs to sing in their cages
I treat them like nobles, each week they get wages
And if you think that you hear a scream
Turn away, forget it, it’s only a dream
Only a Rat (rat mask)
It’s only a dream that’s painted in red
My life is patterned with wires,
They encircle my bed
Others are hidden, deep in my head
Only when I’m dead will I ever be free
The streams and the bushes I never will see
The end seems near as they drive me insane
But there is nothing but fear, and pain, and more pain