Tag Archives: Animals

incidental

a lone deer feeds
in a cornfield still fallow in late June

“maybe soya this year,”
some who know these patterns, say

i check the bleuets on the boundary to the west
these are feral patches deep in reclaimed prairie
still pink-sky blue or Caribbean green,
not yet the dusty indigo blue

i’ll check again tomorrow
like yesterday and the next day

i raise my hands up slow and high
surrendering to the deer
to show i don’t have a gun from a store
or a bow or blade i made

my tradition is not hot steel
my ceremony is not stone, bone, shaft and feathers
my nature is not always claws
these days

i hold a soft, open mouth
a weirdish smile
to show the deer
i have no usable canines

i transmit a thought
concerning the herd
“what happened to the other six you lived and walked with this winter”

no reply
to my attempt at telepathy

i push a wave of [sy][e]mpathy out from my heart
and hope the deer feels it

a moment later
the deer bolts
but not away from me, to the east
but to the west, closer

the twilight train’s here at 9:24 tonight
and the coyotes
compulsively give themselves away
their instinctual howls
predictable, thankfully
unlike people driving cars on highways or country roads
or unusually quiet and still people in the woods
both, licensed to kill
animals

this is the eve of the June Full Moon
and as far as the eye can see
fireflies are hovering above the meadow
harmlessly illuminating for their own kind
an incidental gift to bystanders

and as far as the ear can hear
frogs in a wet woodland are
harmlessly singing for their own kind
an incidental gift to passersby

if i illuminate myself from within
or sing my intuitive songs,
for myself, harmlessly,
and you, and you, and you
do too

would not that be an incidental gift
to our fellow passersby

 

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With a tail as big as a kite. With a tail as big as a kite.

She strained her eyes
what is that dark lump
in the road
now moving into my throat




Out she went
sighting the black beauty
from fifty paces
nearer, the bright blood
pooling beneath ki’s face

Did he even try to brake
or swerve?
“no”, the tracks and trees say

Maybe the driver didn’t see
the pitch black, moving body
against the snowy white, but otherwise, red road?

Maybe ki darted out,
in front of the royal blue truck
fit for a rural king
doubt of the beneficent

machines
everywhere

carssawsgunsplowsshipsplanesmillstractorsthrowersdozerstruckscombines
boatsturbinesrigsdredgerstrainsbargesroadsrailharborspipeshousesbridges
wellshighwayssewersstructuresquarriesreactorspowerlinesstreetslotsculde
sacsfencessatelliteslockscelltowerssignsculvertswallsdockslandfillsdams

she gently clasps the end of ki’s gorgeous black tail
gingerly pulling him off the road
redundantly committing his spirit
to the universe, aloud
and with apologies for humankind, silently

purposefully committing his body
to a safer spot
for mourning
and carrion feast

Ki’s body was unexpectedly heavy
full of walnuts and seeds
fat and strong for a long winter ahead
so alive just minutes ago, I saw out the window

I’m sorry
I’m sorry
for me
for my kind
for our machines
for our structures
for our carelessness
for our selfishness
for all this,
engineered, manufactured, destroyed

the falling snow christens quick

she wanted to go inside
and sob
selfishly,
because the possibility
of an aberrantly painless holyday
passed with the dead black squirrel

she wanted to go inside
to tell someone
but the only one
was a woman – good, but profoundly unwise
and living individually in the moment
dis-understanding
in the least way
every single day

she wanted to go inside
and forget
but death was also present there
old, not fresh, also unnatural
the stench of a potful of bones, flesh and fat
boiling on the stove
a pig or two’s rib cage
in her favorite cauldron
the one she’d used only for vegetables

she stays silent
swallows her heart and disappears

caw, caw,
caw-caw

the ravens have shown up
for a still-warm, Christmas Eve dinner

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