Shadowed Heirlooms:

Title: Solitary Confinement
Location: Amboseli, Kenya

Shadowed Heirlooms:

An original literary work by Asher Jay

I once heard a story when I was a child
About the circle of life in the untarnished wild
I was taught all beings had an equal right to be
That everything did not orbit the pronoun ‘me’.

I no longer see scenic colors in the sky
It has been a while since I stopped asking why
Why we embed our excuses in shades of gray
Why we continue to kill our tomorrows today.

The age of ignorance painted a want as a need
It was followed by arrogance and fueled by greed.
The golden era of consumerism, a materialistic plea
Everything holds a hidden price, nothing owned is ever free.

Can earth’s heartbeat be gauged in nickels and dimes?
Will we ever evolve past our current crimes?
We ignore truth, what’s in plain sight
Deem what’s significant a minor slight.

When was our conscience led astray?
When did we invite death to stay?
We yearn for change yet we do not commit to try
Despite the stats and graphs that we cannot deny.

It is time we looked beyond our kith and kin
Examined hard our self-destructive spin
We have but one planet so why don’t we care?
What will be left if we fail to grow more aware?

What was once borrowed will soon, forever be lost
Perhaps then we’ll devalue price vis-à-vis cost.
We stand to lose our brave new world
We are wholly liable for how things have unfurled.

Who will take the fault for the blood and tears?
Can the singular withstand the collective’s fears?
We are all responsible, we each prolong the lie
But are we ready to say goodbye?

Title: The World View
Location: Tanzania, NgoroNgoro crater.

Title: Can We Carry Forward?
Original Art work by Asher Jay, submitted to Nat-Geo under the ‘Eye On Sustainability’.

Title: Assertive Once Approved
Location: Masai Mara, Kenya

Title: A Lion’s Hello (Grown siblings greeting one another in the rain.)
Location: NgoroNgoro Crater, Tanzania

Title: A Bird in the Bush is Worth More
Location: Masai Mara, Kenya

Title: Off-Kilter: The Age of Trash and Tourism
Location: Lake Nakuru, Kenya

The Trash Terrain:

One of the major threats currently compromising African Wildlife is waste. Every wildlife park was subject to ubiquitous littering, and poor or entirely absent infrastructure for sewage treatment (in the lodges/hotels/game camps). Organic and inorganic refuse were seldom separated, all of it just wound up in make shift pits dug out in the vicinity of the establishments and more often than not all these properties were located within range of the core areas in each sanctuary. I spent most of my time during my safari expeditions collecting garbage strewn around by previous visitors, albeit we were not supposed to alight once inside the reserve. I picked up everything from cigarette butts to used diaper bags, it was repugnant but I took responsibility for the rubbish and addressed it appropriately then and there. I figured better me than someone else, better now than never.

Title: Litter Litter Everywhere, Not a Bin in Sight!
Location: Right outside the Sarova Mara Game Camp, A 5-star property in the Masai Mara.

It is always up to you,be aware and take action!

Every reserve I went to, every hotel/lodge I stayed in or dined at received a detailed hand written report/letter with all my concerns articulated in point form. I couldn’t find a printer, but on occasion I did find a copier, and when that happened I made copies for everyone who could incite change, from rangers to wildlife enthusiasts to senior hotel staff. I always handed an original letter to the wildlife warden in each region in person, this invariably made more of an impact, it was also a way for me to ensure they received it.

Title: Make a Difference (Page 1 of 6,Handwritten)
Location: Masai Mara, Kenya

I think if enough people take it upon themselves to preserve what matters, without expecting a third party to step in to do what’s right, then we have a strong shot at sculpting a sustainable survival statement for all life.

Title: Be Ahead (Page 1 of 8, Handwritten.)
Location: Lake Nakuru

Title: Youth and Progress (Submitted to National Geographic’s spontaneous moments)
Location: Serengeti, Tanzania

What I like most about this capture is how all the elders of the herd have their sights set on what lies ahead while the newborn registers all the elements that compose the present tense, including the lens and me. The young calf revels in the moment. To me it resonates Dylan Thomas’ poem the ‘Fern Hill.’ Youth is about being, it is about connecting to the world as it is, for it is only through truly understanding where we are today that we as a collective can holistically approach an unknown tomorrow. Progress isn’t about the future, it is about knowing ‘now’ in its entirety and making this minute count.

Title: All for One and One for All.
Location:Lake Naivasha, Kenya
Photographer: Asher Jay. All rights reserved by Asher Jay ©2011.

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