Today's poem is by J. P. Dancing Bear

Gacela of Animal Wisdom

Apollo, Apollo, when will you leave the animals alone?
The swans swim away in fear of your broken-neck lyre.
They have no song to offer a user like you.

Each animal soul recalls hearing the thunder roar,
the turbulence, the quickening that turned their flesh.
The gods cannot remember all their names.

Orpheus will tell the canaries, there is always work
in the coal mines. He sings lullabies all night
in his unlit house, and they politely stay awake to listen.

The crow has much to say whenever we step outside—
all the prophecies of the underworld. The ashes
of his wings spread over the dreaming cornfields.

When do the bear and the wolf get an apology?
They have moved their dens to the snowy north,
in an effort to avoid the pushy new neighbors.

Never ask a favor of the gods. They will always
answer there is this trick that I do—all it takes
is a few feathers, a couple of claws and a coat.

Copyright © 2004 J. P. Dancing Bear All rights reserved
from New Orleans Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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