Fable of the Heron and Coypu

A grey Heron stands frozen in time…
like a statue—not one forged by human hands.

Its sharp eyes stare… unmoving
deep into dirty waters… rippling

It is a creature… proud… magnificent…
silent…serious… persevering…

who ignores the traffic of human beings
as they jog in circles upon rocky runways

as they speed on muddy pathways
upon sleek scooters and bicycles…

Nothing can disturb his concentration
silent… serious… persevering…

as he stands… unmoving… lighter than being
upon his long thin legs

in perfect balance in a world out of balance…
His sharp eyes stare… unflinching

until a Coypu emerges from its hidden lair
in the dense black brush and paddles

across the parched pond drained of water and life…
The bloated beast with orange teeth

scurries up to the muddy shore
with dogs barking… and then sinks

its glowing fangs into scraps of bread
tossed by those human onlookers…

Startled… the Heron darts to the blue sky
no longer peering silentseriouspersevering

into those dank gray waters… its attention
diverted… it is no longer frozen…

no longer waiting without flinching
for minnows… unsuspecting… to swim by…

in a game of hunting… and hunted…
in a gaming habitat no longer habitual…

The Raven

The Raven hops back and forth
in admiring the bluish-black sheen
of his own reflection
in broken pieces of a mirror…

He shakes dirty drops
of water from his sleek feathers
beside the row boats dry-docked
next to a rippling lake…

Mounds of scraps and trash
leftover from weekend picnics
stretch out upon the fields
of mud and grass…

After tearing apart the daily news
forever repeating itself
he pecks a large hole
in a brown paper bag:

The sallow bones
of the half-devoured
carcass of a chicken
tumble to the earth…

A chunk of flesh
snatched from its body
then wriggles like an earthworm
from his pointed beak…

With his dark shadows
hovering over a landscape… desolate …
he flaps his wings directly
into the radioactive sunset…

With dogs mutating into wolves
in that Apocalyptic moment
entre chien et loup
he cries down to all

hapless humans shipwrecked
upon that Plutonian shore…
his defiant eyes… shining demonic:

No Dinosaur Bones Here


Like a snack to chew,
a baby rabbit's skull
drops from out
of a [puppy's jaws]
into the open hands
of its master.

There are no dinosaur bones here.


Their faces once painted
[half red / half black]
in pure reverence
for man and nature,
tattooed shamen
have long since vanished
[vanquished] beneath
the swaying ferns
of red cedar
along with rattles
of tortoise shell
and beaded clothes
of deer skin.

These were once Native burial grounds.


Amputated arms and legs
from a not-so-civil war
were once piled high in the basements
of makeshift hotel hospitals
before being dumped…
into unmarked graves
of these same burial lots…

Ghosts without bones still haunt
these Blue/Gray battlefields…

Barbeque Meltdown


A family dumps their paper bags
still stuffed with picnic food
and leaps into their camper
to escape an electrical swarm
of bald-faced hornets
that scatter in fright
from their paper mâché nest,
and buzz hysterically.


The sizzling fat gone critical:
The intense heat smelts
palm-pressed beef paddies,
sausages and roasted corn on the cob
wrapped in aluminum foil
on a flaming grill.

The tarnished tripod
can no longer hold its ground.
Its metallic base splits wide open
and drops into a cavernous pit…


Cinders and ashes plummet to the earth
and spread out upon wood chips,
dried grass and pine needles.
The stump of Thoreau’s dead tree trunk
intertwined with poison ivy
soon bursts into voracious flames…


Bright red trucks are mobilized:
fire hoses gush jets of impotent spray.
At the risk of slow asphyxiation
valiant rangers in heat resistant vests
now stare into snaking coils of smoke
as death swirls through the misty
green glass panes of gas masks.

As the life-saving stream
of cooling water power runs dry,
even the aerial bombardment
of chemical concoctions
cannot prevent wild incendiary winds
from engulfing the homes
of the human and bestial inhabitants
of these forest lands…


In the parched days of waiting
that follow…

A caravan of ants
drag the remnants of rotten
slices of watermelon
over the petrified ashes
of this barbecue meltdown.

Within ice cubes a child
playfully freezes a carpenter ant:
With the mere touch
of an innocent fingertip
the creature writhes [from the dead].

The Swan

A great white Swan
the power of flight
for his fledgling initiates
as he flaps his wide wings
over the lake’s surface.

His webbed feet
roar like thunder
as they repeatedly
slap the water
in lifting Up! Up! Up!
upon take off.

The great Swan’s orange bill
points the way
like a beacon of light
for his dusky brown and gray
cygnets to follow…

to follow his flight…
his flight into an empty
blue-gray sky
not yet devoid
of hope…