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Poem: Of Life that Inhabits this Place

By: Keith Moul


Not diverse, but abundant in possession:
on lonely grasslands, farmlands, plains
or rare marshlands, suited species excel
in fevered climate of inhospitable places.
Here I choose a likely spot among them,
adept, camouflaged, but only to observe.

Shelter me from heat, cold, scouring wind
and I’ll study creature instincts that prepare,
reveries that kill, not habits imprinted in
dust, but their faces facing the prairie; not
to defend roughian Canada Geese pushing
passersby away with gravelly honks, wings
above their bony heads; not mute to prairie
chickens’ billowings as hunters set up camp,
then go close the bars; not to dare the red fox
to wake a gopher, send it shuttling, squeaking
through tunnels to evade or not evade death.
The fox squirts a scent: (don’t be a stranger!)

I learn required patience: turn and the animal
disappears: prairie dogs and pronghorns have
learned to dematerialize in the blink of an eye.


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