Dear Lonely Animal,

Rating: 3.5

I'm writing to you from the loneliest, most
secluded island in the world. I mean,
the farthest away place from anything else.

There are so many fruits here growing on trees
or on vines that wrap and wrap. Fruits
like I've never seen except the bananas.

All night the abandoned dogs howled.
I wonder if one dog gives the first howl, and if
they take turns who's first like carrying

the flag in school. Carrying the flag
way out in front and the others
following along behind in two long lines,

pairs holding hands. Also the roosters here crow
from 4am onward. They're still crowing right now
and it's almost noon here on the island.

Noon stares back no matter where you are.
Today I'm going to hike to the extinct volcano
and balance on the rim of the crater. Yesterday

a gust almost blew me inside. I heard
that the black widows live inside the volcano
far down below in the high grasses that you can't

see from the rim. Well, I was going to tell you
that this morning the bells rang and I
followed them and at the source of the bells,

there I found so many animals
all gathered together in a room
with carved wooden statues

and wooden benches and low wooden slats
for kneeling. And the animals were there
singing together, all their voices singing,

with big strong voices rising from even
the filthiest animals. I mean, I've seen animals
come together and sing before, except in

high fancy vaults where bits of colored glass
are pieced together into stories. Some days
I want to sing with them.

I wish more animals sang together all the time.
But then I can't sing sometimes
because I think of the news that happens

when the animals stop singing.
And then I think of all the medications
and their side effects that are advertised

between the pieces of news. And then I think
of all the money the drug companies spent
to videotape their photogenic, well-groomed animals,

and all the money they spent to buy
a prime-time spot, and I think, what money
buys the news, and what news

creates the drugs, and what
drugs control the animals, and I get so
choked I can't sing anymore, Lonely Animal.

I can't sing with the other animals. Because it's
hard to know what an animal will do when it
stops singing. It's complicated, you know, it's just

complicated—

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COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Stephen Katona 20 August 2016

Your love of animals and despair at a world that quels their voices comes across in this moving, powerful poem.

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Bri Edwards 11 August 2016

i might as well read the third poem. do i hear a piano in the background? favorite lines........so far: high fancy vaults where bits of colored glass are pieced together into stories....................................yes, stories. animal rights activist, or just a concerned-for-animals'-welfare person? let's call the lab animals altruistic, give them a national day on the calendar, and count our blessings when drugs they make possible save someone we know, or even love. not to mention surgical procedures sometime tried on animals first i bet! bri ;) you are a fine story teller, ...........like i am! ok, time to practice more piano! i can play one piece on the piano, and not so well: Happy Birthday. but i'm proud of my accomplishment! ! ! to MyPoemList

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Suburban Lovechild 04 February 2015

Nice journey, fun read

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Darren Hobson 30 January 2015

loved the way this poem flows!

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