behemoth (rework)

They are what swim, what fly, what run;
they are the eyes holding firelight
in fear-touched hunger.
They are the plural as single and the one as many;
striped and spotted, feathered and furred,
scaled or catching hair against brambles.
It is what we are, the upright in the bestiary.

We are no more and no less
than these.  Amber intelligence
blinks back at me as the eagle
strips her catch from its bones,
daring me closer to wingspan,
hooked talons, razor beak.

I have memorized the calculations
of a great horned owl skimming night silent,
adding the scrape of claw on gravel
and grass to rodent squeaks
into his sum and swallowing it whole.
I sing coyote inked in packs
and running down prey
through woods I say I own.

If I say truth is elemental
then it is:  I am no more and no less
than this thing that bleeds and gasps,
caught in the jaws of something larger,
a link in the chain that tethers.

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About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
This entry was posted in New Free Verse and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

46 Responses to behemoth (rework)

  1. claudia says:

    I sing coyote inked in packs
    and running down prey
    through woods I say I own….wow…powerful…very cool were you went with this..smiles

  2. davidtrudel says:

    Very nice bestiary! We are all reanimated stardust, as is everything around us.

  3. Mary says:

    I like that we are the upright in the bestiary….but no more or no less than some of the others who are not. Lots of creative thoughts here!

  4. brian miller says:

    I sing coyote inked in packs
    and running down prey….really cool…mystery in those lines….and the truth in i am no more or no less….really like those lines…caught int he jaws of something larger…arent we all…smiles.

  5. They are the plural as single and the one as many;

    Very strong and still creative wordplay. I love that 🙂

  6. Tony says:

    I love the “Amber intelligence” line. How arrogant we humans are about our intelligence as if other creatures have no intelligence at all. We do no better surviving in their world than many of them do in ours.

  7. ayala says:

    I sing coyote inked in packs
    and running down prey
    through woods I say I own….very cool write, Susan.

  8. alan1704 says:

    This is a bit chilling and feels raw, but i love the sense of desperation. Quite a mixture of emotions

  9. Lindy Lee says:

    Wonderful poem, “no more and no less than”; point well taken by this follower…

  10. Stan Ski says:

    That’s the way to do it…!

  11. scotthastiepoet says:

    A strong piece here – sharp and confident, brought elegantly to a conclusion which crowns you message – I enjoyed this…

  12. “They are the eyes holding firelight” – this line stuck with me. I couldn’t get the image out of my head – the eagle staring – Beautiful. The poem feels almost raw (in a good way) because after all – that’s what nature is and should be. 🙂

  13. Susan, a string or pearled words of pure beauty. Great voice.

  14. kelly says:

    This is a subject I ponder often…. We are so quick to deny the fact that underneath everything, we are animals, and we spend our lives fighting this fact. I love the wildness in this, the owl, the coyote… The beasts in us all.

  15. I am no more and no less
    than this thing that bleeds and gasps,
    caught in the jaws of something larger,
    a link in the chain that tethers.

    Such a strong ending. I sat with it for quite awhile thinking on it. There’s resolution in the tension it seems. So many great images throughout your piece. Nicely done 🙂

  16. Powerful! Should we sing “all creatures great and small…” and then at the end of it all ask – but what and who determiness smallness…and what if smallness has a creator determined functionality? Energy chains? A call out to anthropomorphism? Great poem, great lines – thought provoking!.

  17. lucychili says:

    i think we forget that animals are so vital and beautiful and that we are luck to hare the planet with them. vividly drawn.

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  19. I’m unable to relate but, the powerhouse of imagery is overwhelmed !

  20. I enjoy much the musings of our intimate relation to the natural world around us– and how you’ve related them in your words –especially in the 3rd stanza, which for me is the crux of this piece. Nice work ~peace, Jason

  21. shanyns says:

    Well said, well written and I love the imagery. So good.

  22. Beth Winter says:

    Amber intelligence – rich and deep
    Beautiful work

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