An ancient pond!
With a sound from the water
Of the frog as it plunges in.

 

 

                                              —Translation by William George Aston

This poem is in the public domain.

for Tarfia and Fita

             The rabbit has a funny set of tools. He jumps.
             or kicks. muffled and punching up. In pose
             the rabbit knows, each side of his face to whom.
             he should belong. He hobbles and eyes. This
             is the dumb bun allegiance. This bunny, even dry and fluff
             is aware, be vicious. will bite down your finger stalk.
             will nick you good in the cheery web of your palm.
             Those claws are good for traction. and defense.
             This bunny, forgive him. There is no ease. His lack
             of neck is all the senses about a stillness.
             stuck in a calm. until household numbers upend
             his floor. until the family upsets the nest
             and traipses off. Then stuck in a bunny panic.

             We each stab at gratitude. In our nubbing, none
             of us do well. We jump. We kangaroo. We soft seeming,
             scatter and gnaw. Maybe the only way forward
             is to sleep all day. one eye open. under the sink.
             Like the rabbit, we could sit in our shit.
             Chew at the leaf of others’ dinner. Make
             of each tile on the floor a good spot to piss. No,
             it doesn’t get much better. And like the rabbit
             we do not jump well from heights. We linger the dark
             until it is safe to come out. To offer a nose.
             a cheek for touch. the top of a crown. Nothing
             makes us happier than another rabbit.

Copyright © 2020 by francine j. harris. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 26, 2020 by the Academy of American Poets.

What if the submarine
is praying for a way
it can poison the air,
in which some of them have
leaped for a few seconds,
felt its suffocating
rejected buoyancy.
Something floats above their
known world leading a wake
of uncountable death.
What if they organized
into a rebellion?

Now scientists have found
a group of octopuses
who seem to have a sense
of community, who
live in dwellings made of
gathered pebbles and shells,
who cooperate, who
defend an apparent
border. Perhaps they’ll have
a plan for the planet
in a millennium
or two. After we’re gone.

Copyright © 2019 by Marilyn Nelson. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 20, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.

I dreamt        the spirit of the codfish:

          in rafters of the mind;

fly out into the winter’s

           blue night;

 mirth off alder       tendrils sashay;

 while I set up

             my winter tent;

 four panels long—beams suspend

 I sit & pull blubber strips             aged in a poke bag;

 I’m shadowing the sun                    as a new moon icicle

 time melts    when white                     hawks come.

Copyright © 2020 by dg nanouk okpik. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 30, 2020 by the Academy of American Poets.