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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 6, Number 1, March 2012

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Bob Lucky
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Babakoto is the Local Word for Indri

Today I was in a rain forest following the wails of a family of indri when my guide stopped at a tree. He explained how an infusion made from the two-lobed leaves was used as a laxative for cattle. I made a feeble comment about ruminants and constipation and that's when I learned that cows can die from constipation.

high in a tree
a lone babakoto
cries out—
when he turns his head to look
I turn my head to look

Today I learned a lot of things, but it was mostly in French. Between my slippery grasp of that language and the concentration I spent on not tripping over vines and roots, I'm not sure I learned anything correctly. Chameleons are hard to spot in the daytime, I can vouch for that, and it seems that a lot of the plants in a rainforest can be used as love amulets or cures for sexual dysfunction. But I think it's really sad that cows can die from constipation.

in the distance
the ridge I walked
cloaked in mist—
scanning the wine list
vin rouge or blanc with porc

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