We’ve had enough! We’re taking it back!
The earth once belonged to the docile and us—
the wild—but no more will you, the puffed-up,
two-legged man, raze our forests and our swamps,
no more spew your chemicals into our homes
or fell our forests and set our lairs ablaze,
for we shall crush you, as you have done
to wild lands, our species. “Take that!” said the bat.
Cosmos shall smack your pride, your claim
to our star-blessed plains, mountains and valleys
where we all live or die, for you are no different
no more key to fauna and the cycle—
the ballad of life where we, warriors of the rainbow—
creatures of the waters and bloomed meadows,
cower beneath your homes, hunker in your walls
and in the trees, crouch in canyons
to weather your intrusions into lands in time
barren of herds and silent of birdsong,
where you have no predators and clutch all
you desire, spurning us, as if we are nothing,
but, tomorrow, the virus will kiss you, dance
at your jamborees! You will swallow fear as we rise.
We’ve not forgotten the Great Sparrow Campaign,
the crushed nests, but you paid a price then
and—now—as your gluttony proves our fiercest predator,
there are grim creatures oozing on the battle lines
as your precious biological carnage boomerangs—
take heed as our curator, our Gaia, reclaims the mossy crown.
Walking as Loren Eiseley
I traipsed through the field, pretending I was Eiseley—
the Bone Hunter—searching for origins
of poetry and God, full of The Immense Universe.
In the moment, I recalled once lifting a fossil at market,
brushing the hollows beneath my fingertips
to judge if it was real or a bejeweled fabrication.
Onward, to the west, near Comanche, a creek greeted me
and, beyond, I scrutinized clay cracked like a pattern
that resembled the tumbled map of my mind—where
my ears were tickled by the trickle of a stream
in its passage toward obscure roadrunners and coyotes.
I followed four-toed pointed tracks, half-hidden
in mesquite brush, speckled scratches beneath prairie grass
where a skeletal shell of an armadillo wrested my gasp
at the unexpected, but Mr. Eiseley would have foreseen
the cadaver, would have had his questions primed,
so, I troubled the corpse and mused to master its mystery,
such as how he’d filled the buzzards, leaving only a drop
of life’s slime, and I asked him of all things he’d seen,
and he revealed the vantage of a ground walker
who’d moseyed the plains since days of the dinosaurs.
He’d seen it all, and, like the Bone Hunter, I looked
into empty eyes where the creature had held God’s secrets,
but found him reluctant to share. I wished the ‘dillo well
and walked on through the field, my boots my armor, and there,
my eyes fell to a lone Indian Paintbrush. I reached to pluck the bud,
then remembered I was Loren Eiseley. So, I marveled at the vigor
steadfast in a solitary bloom amidst the arid turf—its orange
brilliance left to shine, to relinquish its petals and pods. I blessed
its seeds to the wind—just as the eagle-eyed Bone Hunter
would have done before he, too, within the dirt did abide.
An Ominous Greeting
Raven, drumming a song,
clicking a message cryptic
to me, maybe meant for another.
Or is it? Committed he sits
on the pine branch holding
his song that lectures me
as he bemoans my intrusion
at dusk, his bewitching voice
bobbing and echoing
midst a mountain breeze
tossing faint stars about the sky
into a new arrangement
as the heaven’s luminaries spring
to bloom in the feathered black shadows
seized vast by the raven’s song.