The Old Zoo

Humans are not the only ones with ghosts

Everything felt new in the rain.  Behind the impenetrable mist lurked not just the world that is, but the thousand thousand worlds that might be.

IMG_2460Humans are not the only spiritual beings.  Where life radiates, residue remains.  The plants, the trees, the animals, their ghosts are as real as ours.  They live, and they die, and they linger.

An abandoned place, a place where life no longer thrives, is a place of ghosts.  A house, a hospital, a graveyard, a zoo…IMG_2454

As we stepped up the rough-hewn cement steps, into the pen which no longer had bars, a pen which had once contained animals with the strength to transform a grown man into a wet abstraction, Elizabeth squeezed my hand once, briefly, bringing our pulses into sync.

With that squeeze, she told me what she felt – what she knew.  Behind the mist, among the thousand thousand worlds that might be, the hearts of the beasts still beat.

IMG_2452Two miles to our north, the new zoo – new only by comparison, dating back as it did to the childhood of my father’s father – housed children of children of the majestic creatures which had lived and died here.  For a moment, on a flight of fancy, I thought the wind carried a pleading, hungry roar to my ears.

IMG_2453To me, the mist concealed and revealed blood that pulsed beyond my sight, but not beyond my time.

To Elizabeth, the mist held all the ages of the world.  This pen still held its captives.  And they were still hungry.

Again I thought I heard a roar.

Elizabeth’s eyes found mine, and in that moment fear broke through the mist and shined as brightly as the sun.

She had heard it too.


– January, 2015



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4 Comments on this post.

Leave a Reply



  • Josh Millican
    11 January 2015 at 12:21 am - Reply

    WOW. I’m floored! Where is this?

    • Evan A. Baker
      11 January 2015 at 12:28 am - Reply

      It’s the old zoo in Griffith Park. We’ve lived right next door to it for over three years, but this is the first time we got off our asses and checked it out.

  • Josh Millican
    11 January 2015 at 3:50 am - Reply

    I’m from LA and I never even knew this place existed.

  • Donald Honan
    11 January 2015 at 4:53 pm - Reply

    Super! Eery, evocative pix and the prose is amazing! [sorry, I don’t know how else to explain the way the prose hits me…]