The Innisfree Poetry Journal

by George Moore

The Literati


            after Gonzalo Rojas


We are them as children

are part of their parents. They

speak through our mouths

when we have nothing to say.

They hold up a hand

and the sky is painted

a different color. They trade

for slaves, jewelry, advantage

near the decrepit throne.


I would like to see them

down here, among the lobstermen,

lifting traps from a heavy sea

repeatedly, without rhythm,

straining against hunger,

theirs and the fishes,

impossible to tell them apart

in their schools and futures.

Words on the lips like barnacles

as they haul up a single line.

Animal Studies 


Bears do not want you, not to eat,

not to carve, not to slap with claws

like they do the trees. Bears believe

in no human being, no involvement,

nothing to do with these creatures

that camp out in the open. Bears

see forms that stand as tall as they

but are invisible, drifting in and out

of cars, tents, and cabins. Bears

do not see the streams, the pine,

the mountainside, for these things

are present through the thickness of

a hide, a shared membrane of world.

Bears come down the trail as we

run the Park, the little one lumbers

off into the wood, afraid. The other,

the mother, charges at full speed.

Bears want nothing to do with us.

They do not bridge that awful gap

except for some terrible driving need.

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