Animal Nature – Poem by Don Kingfisher Campbell

Artwork by T.H. Cayne
Artwork by T.H. Cayne

Don Kingfisher Campbell – Animal Nature

Out of my mouth an unshelled snail loves to travel
over hills and valleys into holes. He has
a favorite he slides over again and again.
He transmits to me his reverie
in the warm silkiness of the land,
especially as it becomes wet on his trail.
He merrily spreads the Sam Kinison alphabet there.
He doesn’t stop until an earthquake
(then again, this is California,
several tremors a week, must be the weather!)
Each time, after fulfilling minutes,
he lets me unzip and my mud puppy takes over.
This salamander relative lives to investigate
openings in bushes, burrowing inside
for a second and quickly out and
back in again. He is so tingled
by feeling the difference between light and dark,
he explores until he vomits in ecstasy. He calls it
his exercise plan to create more earth; a
mingling of McDonald’s fed rivers; the natural way
to feel alive between wakefulness and sleep,
between human touch and breath crash.

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