Today's poem is by Jim Natal

Animal Planet

This is the hour of hyenas.
the hour of crows descending,
filling the trees and scaring away
the songbirds. This is the hour of
the weasels, of rampant viruses, of lap
dogs that bite your ankle as you walk away.
Now the baboons are on the loose, seizing
rocks and sticks, and the wrestling bears have
mauled their trainers. Zoo elephants crush keepers
underfoot; Seigfried and Roy have canceled tonight's
performance. It's the wrong day to wear your pet python
around your neck or to feed the piranhas by hand. Even
the dolphins are in an ugly mood—they really do have teeth
in those beaks. Lemurs and sloths are speeding up, sharpening
their long climbing nails. Prehensile tails braid tightly across
the globe. Railroad bridges, undermined by moles, collapse.
The lemmings turn back at the lip of the cliff, and beavers chew
pines to block back roads. Flocks of gulls loiter on airport runways
while winged tornadoes of flies, mosquitoes, wasps, and bees writhe
through heavy air. Listen: locusts are humming something uber alles.
And from the way they're waddling, the marsupials are packing heat
in their pouches. Ibis is no walk in the woods anymore. Picnic in the park.
Hike through the bush. It's a jungle out there. Just ask the wolves, the lice,
sharks, raptors, scorpions, lizards, and voles. Is it time, Mr. Darwin? Is it time?

Copyright © 2009 Jim Natal All rights reserved
from Memory and Rain
Red Hen Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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