back ~ home ~ up ~ next

 

 

 

Nature Poem

 

When a Gunnison's [prairie dog] sees a
person and gives an alarm, it doesn't simply
say, "Predator!"  It actually says, for example,
"Tall dark thin man!"  With humans, they will
scurry into their burrows, then pop their
heads back out to watch.

The Baltimore Sun

 

For so long nature never said a word.

Whenever storms harangued or seas would rage,

Whenever thrush or skylark would be heard

To warn, or trees to whisper in the winds,

We knew that we were standing just offstage,

Throwing our voices, speaking their many minds.

 

But if they could speak, we had speculated,

They'd love us, care for us, or be profound

At least in their uncaring; so we waited,

Leaving them speechless even as we sought

To speak some sentence into every sound.

That was the nature of the world we thought.

 

Now we have intercepted on the prairie

Gunnison's sentries calling to the clan,

And finally cracked the code:  "Sh!  Be wary!

Go to your homes.

Tall dark thin man

This way comes."

 

Greg Williamson

 

 

From The Silent Partner, Story Line Press,

1994.  Reprinted by permission of the author
and Story Line Press, Ashland, Oregon.

Table background by
Amretta


back ~ home ~ up ~ next