NaPoWriMo Day 11: Brent Hagen – Write from an animal’s perspective

We welcome back Brent Hagen for today’s NaPoWriMo prompt.

Write from an animal’s perspective

The other day I was musing about how amazingly silly we must look to dolphins, seals, sharks, and other adroit creatures of the sea who zoom effortlessly through the deep as we flail like toddlers out of our element. It made me think of all the birds who visit our garden each morning, about how they view me standing at the kitchen window, my hair akimbo as I try to imitate their melodic whistling between sips of coffee.

For this prompt, think of another species and contemplate its perspective. So here is a poem in which I try to see our species from the perspective of one of our friends with whom we share this beautiful planet.

first thing after breakfast

the skeptical trill
of a tufted titmouse
traipsing across the trellises

apparently it has
happened upon an article
about onomatopoeia

on some library table
or forgotten neath a glum willow

i don’t sound like that!
it insists, voice trying to swallow its vowels,
talons wrapped around
the throat of a branch

it has other complaints as well
canaries in coal mines, really?!
stop eavesdropping on our lust, you personifying creeps,
if a tree falls anywhere it’s a goddam tragedy
you loon, you dodo, you perplexing scrubwren,
you tinkling cisticola, you bananaquit,
you hottentot buttonquail, you monotonous lark,
you blue-footed booby, you dickcissel,
you american woodcock, you rough-faced shag,
you satanic goatsucker, you hoary puffleg,
you parasitic jaeger, you sad flycatcher,
you invisible rail, you moustached flowerpiercer,
you chacalaca, you geelvink megapode, you smew,
you oleaginous hemispingus, you red-billed oxpecker,
you hammerkop, you undulated tinamou,
you lappet-faced vulture, you exclamatory paradise whydah,
you yellow-bellied sap sucker you

Brent Hagen is a poet who enjoys teaching English in Japan. He literally
cannot get enough of figurative language.

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