Category Archives: poems about animals

Unplanned Sighting

I had driven Yolanda home after giving her the gift for Yoli, which was too fragile to hand carry down the hill, and the day too hot as well. Her street is a long one with no guaranteed fast exit to the carretera as side streets are  usually plugged with trucks parked in their middle or chairs and canopy out for a funeral visitation or children playing soccer or neighbors gathered in front of a makeshift tienda—table spread with crisp snacks or candies or huge jug of horchata. So after leaving her off, I drove the long blocks to the main street that leads down to the malecon—and the glorious monstrous magnolia tree that is home to dozens of huge snowy egrets—most of whom bedeck its top branches like glorious white magnolias. Maddening that in my rush I didn’t grab my camera, as one particular egret was putting on an incredible show. If it was a mating ritual, no creature other than myself seemed to be noticing, but, in lieu of a camera, I have to try to share it with you.  The photos above are of previous viewings and none of them present the incredible performance I saw today.  Oh, that I had been able to show you that glorious long neck snaking out in an expanding “S,” again and again against the unbroken blue of the sky, then the whipping of the fragile long  feathers of the underwings!                    

 

Unplanned Sighting

Delicate white fan,
glorious in its expanse,
puffed chest expanding upwards,
    above it sinuous long neck expanding, roiling upwards
as though in supplication, or crowing splendor,
wing fanning and then whipping out, again and again
that S of neck from the top of the
biggest tree in town
majestically
jeweled with the glorious bedecking
of egrets at rest, tucked into themselves,
unlike you, glorious worshiper of calm blue sky,
spreading your feathers as though seeking to be the envy
of all those others whose gazes seem to be
directed inwards, to private memories.
     Only I, human observer of your world, to witness
caught helpless, without camera,
­­­­only an eye and tongue
to try to convey
your lovely
fragile
swaying

ballet of puffed
             pride or
grooming?

 

Only three prompt words today. One of the sites didn’t post.  The words are chest, envy and gaze. Here are the links:
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/04/07/rdp-sunday-chest/
https://fivedotoh.com/2019/04/07/fowc-with-fandango-envy/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/04/07/gaze/

 

Retribution

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Retribution

He built himself a sanctuary in the old garage
to shelter from his mom’s complaints, his stepfather’s barrage
of insults that he spewed out whenever he drank beer
and his teenage stepson happened to be near.
He frequented the shadows of their viral house.
Took shelter in the attic, quiet as any mouse.
Hid out in the garden in a cave of loam.
Anyplace his stepfather was not became his home.

His meals lacked spice and savor also missing in his mother.
Her meals furnished nutrition, but very little other.
No laughter flavored mealtimes. The food rendered no spice.

He secreted small bits of food—a slice of bread, some rice—
to feed to his companions—a family of mice.
It was worth the beatings that he’d suffered twice
when that man not his father saw him hide away
some morsel in his pocket and said he’d have to pay.

 Raising his fist, he said he would take it from his hide
and gave another beating  to the boy who never cried.
The boy who simply stored it up—kept all of it inside—
bore the abuse stoically and then crept outside
to commune with his real family who lived in wall and  rafter
of the garage he’d made his home, and filled with love and laughter.
They came out at his bidding, swarmed around his feet
to eat a bit of porridge, some carrot or a beet.

Some crackers from his school lunch, some lettuce or a plum,
proved the presence of a heart that otherwise was numb.
Mice frequented his pockets and sat upon his shoulder—
every generation seeming to grow bolder.
They slipped into his mother’s house when she was sound asleep
and crept into those places where he could never creep.
They nestled in her shoes and chewed out all the toes,
severed all her bra straps, gnawed holes in all her hose.

They found the belt the monster man used to beat their friend,
dragged it deep under the bed and chewed it end-to-end.
When they crept into the larder to finish off the pie,
it must have been an accident that the can of lye
spilled into the sugar, pouring out in one fine stream
right into the bowl that would be placed beside the cream
on the breakfast table.  For how could it be
that vermin knew only the man took sugar in his tea?

 

The prompt words today are sanctuary, garage and nutrition.

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/02/09/rdp-saturday-sanctuary/
https://fivedotoh.com/2019/02/09/fowc-with-fandango-garage/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/02/09/your-daily-word-prompt-nutrition-february-9-2019/

Basking

Basking

Cats love of apricity is more than just a fluke.
It is a vital tendency and so we can’t rebuke
our cats for lying prone a lot in any ray of sun.
A cat’s in need of toasting as much as any bun.
If you can imagine a Kardashian without
the flash of any flashbulb, you will without a doubt
be able to imagine a cat without the rays
filtered through venetian blinds, or fully in the blaze
of a scorching summer sun. A cat can withstand all
the heat that we can give them, in summer, winter fall.
And if there is no sun at all, a cat can just make do
with the full attention of a surrogate like you!!!

(Enlarge all photos by clicking on any one.)

Prompt words for today are vital, rebuke, apricity and imagine.

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/01/14/rdp-monday-vital/
https://fivedotoh.com/2019/01/14/fowc-with-fandango-rebuke/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/01/14/your-daily-word-prompt-apricity-january-14-2019/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/01/14/imagine/

Breaking Her Diet

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Breaking Her Diet

I measure her cat food with care from the vat,
but she has such an aptitude, my little cat
for flushing out lizards and others like that.
With delicate paw thrusts, she gives them a bat
’til they barely know where it is that they’re at,
then unleashes her claws for a more severe pat.

Be it lizard or bird or scorpion or rat,
she defeats it as though it were merely a gnat
and lays it out nicely on my front door mat:
one scorpion sting less or a feather for my hat,
then returns to the stool where she formerly sat,
licking her chops, and that’s why she’s so fat!!!

 

The prompts were cat, aptitude and delicate.

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/08/11/rdp-72-cat/

https://fivedotoh.com/2018/08/11/fowc-with-fandango-aptitude/

https://dailyaddictions542855004.wordpress.com/delicate

Another Modest Proposal

DSC08411Macho” assemblage and photo by jdb

Another Modest Proposal

Once a species has been depleted,
it’s sad that it can’t be repeated.
This is true of guys and gals
as surely as for animals.
So though we hate to limit fun
that might be realized with your gun,
unless you’re hunting for your fodder,
we ask that you confine your slaughter
to paper targets, or wood or clay,
and do not blow game sport away
like rhinos, elephants, giraffes.
Their slaughters are the greatest gaffes.
If you must kill a living thing,
form yourselves into a ring,
make prayers to the Holy Mother
and target practice on each other!

 

Yes, this is hyperbole!! The WordPress prompt is deplete.

In the Blood (Entertainment?)

In the Blood!!!

Don’t you just love football—the running and the tackling?
The sounds of hamstrings pulling and the crunch of femurs crackling?
We sit up in the bleachers eating hot dogs, drinking beer,
comfortably viewing blood sport—the kind we hold so dear.

Aren’t dogfights lovely–the growling and the whining?
Too bad they aren’t more elite, so we could watch while dining.
So amusing watching canines being dished their due.
Dying is so entertaining when it isn’t you!

Better still are bullfights, though they’re few and far between.
The bull so lithe and dangerous, the matador so lean.
The best part of the sport is that the dying is so slow.
I feel its thrill suffuse me from my head down to my toe.

We adore big game hunting in such exotic lands–
our chance to prove our manliness with our own two hands–
handing over money to those trackers in the know
who guarantee an easy kill with rifle or with bow.

Easy on the hunter, but not the animal,
for just because he’s hit the prey’s not guaranteed to fall.
We get more for our money if he’s hard to track,
and war games are more pleasant when one’s foe doesn’t shoot back!

All these minor titillations just a prelude to
the main event and the most major way of counting coup.
Once all the good old boys are finding life is just a bore,
they round up all the younger men and send them off to war.

See how the valiant struggle, see their stripes and purple hearts–
apt pay for missing arms and legs and other blown off parts.
Lucky to be home at last and lucky to be living–
the products of that blood sport that just somehow keeps on giving

Repost of a poem from 3 1/2  years ago.  Crocodile photo new!  More to follow. The prompt today is entertain.

Adventures with Animals in my Careless Youth

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“No, no, no,” I said, “I can’t”
ride upon that elephant.
The creature lowered to one knee,
leg bent to make a step for me,
and seconds later, I was in air.
Was it courage or a dare?

Each  leg gripped on a massive shoulder,
balanced on that giant boulder
of a back, somewhat nonplussed
as his handler swore and  cussed
to not take down that massive tree
so long as he was bearing me!

Whereupon, once told “You can’t,”
this timber-working elephant
turned to descend the river bank.
I gave the rope a mighty yank.
(That was all I had to hold
as this leviathan grew bold,

intent on giving me a bath.)
His trainer ran to bar his path
and none to soon, in my opinion,
relieved this mammoth of his minion.
Soon after we had said adieu,
I faced adventures that were new.

It’s hard to see what I had there
around my neck, beneath my hair.
That snake wrapped loosely around me
hung writhing down below my knee.
I blew the pungi, hoping harm
would be abated by its charm.

What possessed me, I don’t know,
to agree to this viper show.
I wasn’t squeezed, I wasn’t bitten.
The snake was docile as a kitten.
I was a foolish girl back then.
What wild adventures way back when.

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I’m pretty sure this is a python around my neck. I don’t think I would have been foolish enough to drape myself in a cobra, still, his owner had a pungi, which is what snake charmers use, usually to “charm” vipers or cobras. (Actually, it is the motion of the instrument, not its sound that weaves the spell.) I had on a top that was perfect camouflage  for the reptile. Both of these photos were taken in Sri Lanka in 1973.