Animals I've Known
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.
An ape in the zoo
With too much time
To think. He
Ponders the visitors
Evolution. “Is this
Anyway to treat
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
Threats from wolves, bobcats,
And even fishers, they
Here I come with
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.