small songs I sing
to join
my voice to other voices
hidden in the grass

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Litany of the Nearly Lost

Listen:  their names
carry news of the places they live:
Tooth Cave spider and Virgin River chub,
Red Hills salamander and Bliss Rapids snail,
Eureka Valley primrose and Lost River sucker.

Maybe once, before they vanish,
they will rise up out of their subterranean
caves, come down from islands
in the sky, leave forest pools and relict
prairies, leaping, swimming, sidling,
soaring, scattering seeds and petals
over the knotted highways
and into the halls of Congress—
the map turtles leading the way.

Tumbling Creek cavesnail.
Kneeland Prairie pennygrass.
Peter’s Mountain mallow.
Delhi Sands flower-loving fly.

Slithering, sliding, crawling, gliding,
let them come, singing with one voice
This land is our land—
Let it not vanish away.

Laguna Mountain skipper. 
Ash Meadows sunray, Salt Creek tiger beetle.
Santa Catalina Island fox.

Written River 3:1, summer 2012

1 comment:

  1. Delicious details in this sensitive poem about the nearly lost. Makes me want to read more about them.