This poem is taken from Stand 221, 17(1) March - May 2019.

Jack Houston Poem
In the Wild

‘Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing’

                                               W B Yeats
 
Not every day you’ll see one, close up, hunting.
See it leap & try to slice
through prey with those toe-grown foot-longs.
 
See its hooked beak on that strange
& owl-like face, the blue & tan feathers
on its almost useless wings. They hunt like chickens.
 
Not timidly, as how we once upon a time
pictured chickens.
But like the chicken of the long-lost jungle, talons foremost.
 
It’ll cut that duck-billed rat to pieces
quick as sunbeams, switch a claw to slice its fat tail
through, halt its running.
 
But how odd. See how it’s stopped, caught itself
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