POEM: Animal Observations

 sitting on a stone

-grassless

-hopless

and you call yourself a grasshopper!

 

I know I shouldn’t, but I anthropomorphize.

I can’t see this orangutan without hearing the words,

“Ya borin’ me!”

play in my mind

 

parents lunged to cover impressionable eyes,

but someday they will be adults

who wonder about the mechanics

of how baby giraffes get made

 

Dear Flamingos,

Stop hiding your heads.

It freaks out the tourists,

making them think there is a pile of heads in some other corner of the Zoo.

POEM: Black Kite Over Bangalore

The predator commands a post atop a monolithic chimney, which it defends from swooping competitors with a hop, a wing flare, all while going talons up. Its trilling whistle call signals I know not what to I know not whom, but it’s persistent. Its head swivel-snaps around in precise jerks — a clockwork motion. The kite is peering more across the building tops toward the incoming weather than down into the urban valley where it might find a meal. Monsoon season is coming, and it intends to get in some preemptive showers — just to make certain all know that Mother Nature consults no calendars. When a gust hits, the kite beak aligns on the wind direction, but wind shear catches its back feathers, giving it a shabby look.

In the background, I watch its comrades in flight. To say “circling” would be to impose more order than these birds’ chaotic aerial dance warrants. Mostly they glide, each to its own flight plan — occasionally flapping for altitude or making a brief, awkward plummet.