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Animals I've Known

Rare Bit

Rabbit doesn’t fear me

As long as I stay at a distance

Coydogs are another story

Hare vanishes at the slightest scent

Evening comes and underground

Life stirs waking to darkness.

Her white skin reflecting sunlight

Aesop could not have imagined a more

Delicate creature, watching sideways

And worrying about her children

Smells, sounds, movements, ring her world.

Ape Ancesters

An ape in the zoo

With too much time

To think. He

Ponders the visitors

Wondering about

Evolution. “Is this

Anyway to treat

Your grandfather?”

Eagle Encounters

In a place Where water Foams like beer, Miles high on San Bernadino Eagle belt buckle Lifted by thunderbird Glittering gift For its mate.

Seattle Chief brings Eagle companions Raising his arms And pointing To choreograph with Invisible strings As they swoop and loop.

Near slanted rock, A spring fed pond, October circle Drumming heartbeat Of mother earth, Eagle appears to See who’s calling.


Mountain lion as casual As a friend coming to tea, We stare at each other in disbelief. My heart is in my stomach. She turns, flicks tail, Saunters back up the Mountain breaking the spell.

Yes, the locals say, There are catamounts. They are not bobcats, Wolves, or Panthers. It's rare to see one During the day.

The tarot reader at Big Indian says only you Know why the Mountain lion Appeared, gentle and fierce, Traditional Catskill Guardian At the intersection of Lawn and forest, crossing of Hollow and mountain.


Porcupines won’t take no for an answer

Eating poison makes them stronger

They love salt.

Their lives are based on finding

Sources of salt.

Other animals hate porcupines.

Only a foolish dog is rewarded

With its quills.

Most give wide berth

To the lumbering family

Impervious to

Threats from wolves, bobcats,

And even fishers, they

Waddle along.

Here I come with

My shovel.

Could've but couldn't.

Call mountain man with

A permit to kill pests.

One bullet up close or

A long distance. Big gloves

He hauls them away

Another quill for his necklace,

an Aryindian he's

Good at what he does.

At the powwow Evan says

Wants the quills of the

Next one. The Indians respected

The porcupine's fearlessness.

Not good to eat unless very hungry,

Easy target but hard to clean.

An animal to respect from

The distance but not fear

Unless you are carrying salt.

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