The Age of Extinction


A few nights ago, a bear danced around my garden carrots

            and bowed to sniff the sow’s scat in the soil bed.

Last summer, a deer yanked my Tibetan prayer flags

            from firetower scaffolding

and paraded adorned antlers past trampled skulls

            in the broken forest.

I am a human animal walking a dirt trail of illusions

            tossing vegetable scraps a mile from cabin

            for the closest or quickest to snack.

In my first six years of alpine solitude wrestling

I saw a hungry caribou out-run a wild six-pack

            of dartgun helicopters,

I heard ravens chuckle circling above loggers’

            orange flagging tape alit in forest flames,

I followed a scarred moose chase a fleeing Honda generator

            along another new mountain road,

and took photos of a wolf pack stealing the seismic camp’s

            grilling steaks & biting off a page

            from the First Handbook of Habitat Protection.

Over the next six years from mountain heights, I’ve watched

            the wildlife thin and the oil drills strike back.

Is this the Age of Extinction in which only Fortune’s wheels

            will roll on?

Will some drugged grizzly bear wake up and flip the switch?

Can a human ever gain the insight of a drugged bear?

In the meantime, I’ll sit in the petrified bedrock

            with what looks like a young dinosaur

            just for the unwritten record.