Traveling off and on again, and A Prayer to Talk to Animals by Nickole Brown

I’m out and about on and off for the next…four months! I’m sure I’ll do some blogging in that time, but in the near future I’ll be camping, so won’t have internet access.

Meanwhile enjoy these cephalopods because I love them*

Also, please remember how adorable hummingbirds are (also this).

And this poem:
A Prayer to Talk to Animals

Lord, I ain’t asking to be the Beastmaster

gym-ripped in a jungle loincloth

or a Doctor Dolittle or even the expensive vet

down the street, that stethoscoped redhead,

her diamond ring big as a Cracker Jack toy.

All I want is for you to help me flip

off this lightbox and its scroll of dread, to rip

a tiny tear between this world and that, a slit

in the veil, Lord, one of those old-fashioned peeping

keyholes through which I can press my dumb

lips and speak. If you will, Lord, make me the teeth

hot in the mouth of a raccoon scraping

the junk I scraped from last night’s plates,

make me the blue eye of that young crow cocked to

me—too selfish to even look up from the black

of my damn phone. Oh, forgive me, Lord,

how human I’ve become, busy clicking

what I like, busy pushing

my cuticles back and back to expose

all ten pale, useless moons. Would you let me

tell your creatures how sorry

I am, let them know exactly

what we’ve done? Am I not an animal

too? If so, Lord, make me one again.

Give me back my dirty claws and blood-warm

horns, braid back those long-

frayed endings of every nerve tingling

with all I thought I had to do today.

Fork my tongue, Lord. There is a sorrow on the air

I taste but cannot name. I want to open

my mouth and know the exact

flavor of what’s to come, I want to open

my mouth and sound a language

that calls all language home.

– Nickole Brown

*Wordpress will no longer play gifs on my blog, so grr…but until I think of something better, you’ll have to just click the link.


5 thoughts on “Traveling off and on again, and A Prayer to Talk to Animals by Nickole Brown

  1. I like the poem; we often forget who we are. Really, on a base level, we forget that we are all souls adrift in the world. That human/animal distinction is so bogus. And I like the little octopi as well. When I first took a survey that said I was like an octopus, I was a bit offended. Then I learned more about them and realize that I AM like an octopus! Only other octopi understand me; I’m a bit odd-looking and occasionally clever.

  2. Thanks for posting my poem. As someone with no science background, it’s important to me that this new work speaks to biologists and naturalists in the field, and I’d love to communicate with you more and hear about your work.

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