Saturday, November 18, 2006

Of a Feather


They simply
out of existence.

Hazel eyes, wild—
soft brown fur.
There are thirty Florida Panthers left
and they will die
unless they can be tricked into
in captivity—panthers
don’t understand farms.

Puppy-faced water baby—
shark food.

The Hawaiian Monk Seal
gets caught in commercial
fish nets,
doesn’t understand—
dies tangled
in fishing line.

Golden flash,
float past, winged alphabet.

Hurricane Andrew
and a century of pesticide
poisoning has killed
all but 100 Sachaus
Swallowtail Butterflies.

Speckled feathers,
duck face, goofy looking bird.

In 1923
there were twenty Laysan Ducks
left on earth.
Still that small flock,
on a single island
in Hawaii, is
one hurricane away
from extinction—
feather hunters.

Loudmouthed parrot
screeching at the Arizona Desert

The Thick-Billed Parrot
could fly 60 mph,
you could hear it’s call
three miles away.

we think they’re gone.

Prehistoric giant, nine foot wingspan,
pointy, spine-headed grandmother—
please don’t die.

There are 89 California Condors
and twenty million dollars worth
of captive breeding
can’t bring them back.
People shoot them, or
they fly into telephone wires,
and there’s poison everywhere.

One by one we go—

©Susan Bright, 2006,

Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-fifty books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, I hate the thought of extinction but how many of us are willing to
give up cars, telephone lines, air travel, imported food from all over
the world? are we growing food in our own back yards, front yards, side
yards, unused vacant plots with neighbors? are we hanging our own
laundry out to dry and wearing more clothes so we don't need to heat our
houses? are we giving up throwaway dishes and aluminum cans? do we have
light tubes to light our houses? are we walking to the grocery store
where we will buy foods that we could do without from places we've never
heard of? are we throwing ourselves into the wheels of commerce? I tried
that for a lot of years. We grew lots of our own food, made our own
clothes, saved bath water to flush toilets, grew our vegetables inside a
screened in "screen house" to keep out the grasshoppers but then we had
to hand pollinate the tomatoes, milked our own goat, gathered eggs from
our own hens, heated our house with wood gathered from the ranch, had no
air conditioning, and for what? you have to change whole societies.

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the birds on the planet are in danger. Today I watched 20 ducks land on the pond. There should be a 100 or more. Ducks unlimited means well I suspose but they want ducks to shoot.

The pressures on wild aninals and birds are ever so great. The solution? Is there a solution?

3:16 PM  

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