Category Archives: animal encounters

On how fragile life might be by Enoch Thompson

car dash board at night

We hit something
she said “a raccoon?”
I said, “opossum.”
I said, “turn around,
let’s turn around.”
and there it was lying in the street
a silhouette of sharp snout and feet
orange on grey on black, the colors fade.
A cat, we hit a cat.
So this is death, bulging, leaking red eyes
protruding from its crushed and swollen head.
She, distraught
me, disturbed
so this is death.
I’ve been punished
now to forever drive
slow
and hold a breathe
at every shadow
flashing
across the road.

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Enoch Thompson 2014Enoch Thompson is an aspiring poet and storyteller.  A grave robber, a pirate, a wizard, an ugly shambling skeleton, he trudges the paths eighteen million other better men have skipped down.  Always, as new words become published and new voices shout to be heard, his anxieties grow.  He is a modern-day writer and encapsulates all of the insecurities society has placed on the cliched profession.

To see more poetry on WIZ by Enoch, click here.

Surprise Possession by Karen Kelsay

mixy lizard

She spends her afternoons beside the tree,
where Mr. Lizard’s made his home. Last week
she caught him in her mouth, and forcefully,
my husband pried him out. She doesn’t seek
this reptile, or a patterned, scaly prize—
just itches for a thrilling chase. For days
she’s turned into a sphinx. Unblinking eyes,
and breath held in her breast. Her mind’s ablaze
with thoughts of how he was in her possession.
He watches from the wall where he’s protected.
They play their waiting game. No intercession
at dusk is needed. She comes inside dejected,
and marches to the house to scheme and plot.
Tomorrow she will have another shot.

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karen Bio Picture
Karen Kelsay, native of Southern California, is the founder and editor of Kelsay Books. Her poetry has been widely published in magazines and journals. Nominated five times for the Pushcart Prize, she is also an award winning poet. Her latest full length book, Amytis Leaves Her Garden, was published in 2012, and received the AML award. Karen lives in Hemet, California, with her British husband.

Photo of the poet’s cat, used with permission.

Field Notes #13 : Spider in the hand of a goodly snow

800px-Crab_spider by RedRue

Polar fleece. One of the best.  Inventions. Ever.

My admiration for this virtuous fabric prompted me to do a bit of research on it. On Wikipedia, I came across this: “Aaron Feuerstein [inventor] intentionally declined to patent polar fleece, allowing the material to be produced cheaply and widely by many vendors, leading to the material’s quick and wide acceptance.”

What a lovely man for doing this for us.

Until recently, my polar fleece jacket has been out of commission, in need of repair. I’ve been wearing an uncomfortable coat—the shell, actually, from my husband’s coat—made of polyester. The coat is much bigger, heavier, and longer than my fleece jacket but nowhere near as warm. Continue reading Field Notes #13 : Spider in the hand of a goodly snow

A Rabbit And The Moon by Sally Cook

bestevveg copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brief moments there, when planets held in sway

A sun, some stars, a rabbit on the lawn;

Lush leaves and seeds which flourished, then were gone

Leaving green, glowing scented scenes of day

To frame each moment worthy of this place

Where memory, like jewels kept in a box,

Or quick and furtive movements of a fox,

Seems fated to disintegrate in place.

.

For such an errant beauty cannot last

And dark delights will swallow it too soon.

Then thought intrudes on us, and we presume

A little twilight from the recent past

Means nothing—like a rabbit or the moon,

It can’t compare to chaos, wars and doom.

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cook

 

Sally Cook is a widely published poet and painter of Magic Realist paintings, particularly inspired by nature and its vagaries. A five-time nominee for a Pushcart award, in 2007 she was featured poet in The Raintown Review, and received several prizes and  honorable mentions in the World Order of Narrative and Formalist Poet’s Contest. An interview and e-book, Measured by Song, are available on-line. Her chapbook, Making Music, is available through Amazon.

 

Painting by the poet.

How to Train Your Squirrel by April Salzano

DCIM100SPORT

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Train Your Squirrel

to eat from a bowl is not an easy task.

You should choose a color other

than blaze orange, a material besides

plastic. Cajun almonds and salted sesame sticks

placed near the patio door seem to cause

aggression toward what used to be

his playmates in the yard. He chases away

all critters except the Nut Hatch who is able

to fly stealth operations and grab peanuts

without landing completely. Do not wait

until the blinking creature is scratching

at the glass to offer a treat. This reinforces

demanding behavior and does not promote

sharing with friends. Ignore the urge to touch

his patchy grey coat or to open the door

wide enough to permit his entrance.

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Find recent work and a bio of Salzano here. Additional poems on WIZ are available here.

 

Photo by A.J. Huffman. Used with permission.

A Dozing Squirrel by April Salzano

squirrel2

A Dozing Squirrel

full of almonds and sesame sticks, warms

his belly on wood of deck. Spread

like a loaf of homemade bread, his eyes

become commas even as his chest expands,

contracts like a blood pressure pump.

Front paws hang over edge as if more cat

than woodland wanderer, tail curled over his back,

temporarily not twitching in anxiety. I stand

at the window, wait to make sure no injury

is preventing his chaotic, convulsive foraging.

I turn away, distracted. When I return,

seconds later, he is gone.

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photo3 April Salzano has previously published on small creatures on WIZ. Salzano teaches college writing in Pennsylvania where she lives with her husband and two sons. She recently finished her first collection of poetry, for which she is seeking a publisher. Her work has appeared in journals such as Poetry Salzburg, Convergence, Ascent Aspirations, Convergence, The Camel Saloon, Centrifugal Eye, Deadsnakes, Montucky Review, Visceral Uterus and Salome, Poetry Quarterly, and is forthcoming in Writing Tomorrow and Rattle. She also serves as co-editor at Kind of a Hurricane Press.

 

Photo by the author.

One Leg Up by A. J. Huffman

800px-Pink_Flamingo_@_Temaikén

Flamingos frolic in the surfless still of the sea
side morning’s pastoral.  Limbs and feathers
paint a fantastical fan, this stretching before the sun.
The water dopples,
dolloped with pink reflections.  A mirror
ed magic, reflexive of another dimension.  Alien
in pastel tones of aggressive softness, they
adamantly defend their rights
to this dance.

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To read more poetry by Huffman, go here, here, and here.

Photo by LonghornDave via Wikimedia Commons Images.

Spider Line by Dayna Patterson

Photo by James Lindsey, 2003 via Wikimedia Commons

As I walk on a warm evening,
an invisible strand of spider silk
lands across my neck.

Another snags my elbow.
I brush at them,
but they are tricky to unhook.

Where is the spider
who set this clever snare?
I’m not near a tree or pole

or any structure for that matter.
This spider has cast his line far
into the river of open air,

hoping for a yellow hopper,
which he will reel in
and roast over a cookfire.

The smell of his catch will waft
through the grass to make his neighbors’
pinhole mouths water.

After a fine meal, he’ll lie down
in a hammock of homespun
and stare at the sparking stars,

each one a tantalizing firefly.

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Dayna Patterson

Dayna recently moved to the Northwest from Texas. She is the mother of two and Poetry Editor for Psaltery & Lyre. Her chapbooks, Loose Threads and Mothering, are available from Flutter Press. Other work has appeared or is forthcoming in BlazeVOX, Borderline, Clover, Decades Review, Dialogue, Flutter Poetry Journal, Front Porch Review, North American Review, Segullah, and Sunstone, among others.

 

 

Photo by James Lindsey, 2003 via Wikimedia Commons.