I fell in love with this book when I read the first three poems. The first poem, Ambassador Frog, really sounds like a frog.
he’s got important business,
down there in the bog –
he’s practicing speeches,
The second one, Angry Red Squirrel, sounds just like a chattering squirrel: he’s red. he’s angry. he’s a squirrel.
And the meandering, searching way a beetle goes along is reflected in the short stop and start lines of Beetle:
he rode the conveyor
tumbling, getting up,
I knew I was hearing the voice of a poet who had taken the time to sit down and listen and watch.
The poetry is many-faceted – the sadness of Intelligence, about agents from the future looking back at us and Invasion from a Friendly Planet, about invasive species: when they win everything else loses. The beautiful poem, Of Course which begins:
as we moved
further into their kingdom
of course we encountered them;
red-tailed hawk, turkey vulture;
it was then we longed for
our own place in the world,
to go back home:
it was no longer there!
And then there are the very funny poems – Support Your Right:
If I knew how to do it
I’d arm all the bears
so there’d be bear militias
in the mountains somewheres.
And the funny, bouncy The Prawn Speaks:
I used to be a kid prawn
now I am a big prawn
There is This is Your Planet Talking which comes off as poignantly true and Rivets Popping about the global airlines going down which sounds terrifyingly true. The poet expresses the natural world not as some ethereal romantic Eden but as the place where we live, the place we encounter in the natural world right now, as it is.
The book has delightful cover art of the earth as national park and sketches at the beginning of each section by Joye Chizek. The poems are in alphabetical order and the book itself is nicely put together by publisher Poetry Vortex Publishing