brings together for the first time

the animal poems of Michael Cadnum. 

Cats, ants, whales—even the stubborn, lowly louse—

here are thirty astonishing celebrations of the most

intriguing and often overlooked creatures of the animal kingdom.


Even the familiar creatures, like the Eagle and the Elephant, get new life in Cadnum’s unusual book.

The Raccoon makes an appearance, and the Peacock, and the Giraffe. 

So do the Jack Rabbit and the covertly assertive Roe Deer. 

Thirty poems in all celebrate the open secrets of the lives around us.

Rosemary Deen, poetry editor of Commonweal Magazine, says,

“Anyone who really wants to see the world will read and reread these animal poems:  Kingdom.”

A Kindle edition of this book now ready for you--and a paper edition, too.


The Eagle has returned--along with this new photo by Bruce Hollingsworth





for Sara Van den Bossche


She releases the earth,
every dawn, opens
like day and closes like night.
The human highway
is nothing to her,
blunt in its purpose,
coursing to no destination
she calls home. The squirrel's
chatter, the flycatcher’s shrill
empty gossip beneath her shadow,
no rumor scores her quiet.
All night
she wakes, and wakes again,
nothing to tell, no story

to sound, the broken syllables of the lake,
the susurration of the river her
names for hunger.
Her talons seize the steelhead
and grasp the trout,
but in a kingdom of pinprick
birdsong she is the tidings,
now and now, echoing nothing,
prey to no rumor, silence her anthem.





The Crocodile


This ruse, enduring for days,
will eventually cease, but now
even the birds mistake him for a log,
or a stone the fleeting drought
has lifted above the current.
Because there is a current, even in this cocoa-dark
side-pool, and the solution to hiding
so plainly under the sun is to glide as
the magnolia petals do, or the fallen limb of a tree,
as though alive not at all―except secretly,
to hunger.

No other creature
could survive and be so torpid.
And yet he is ready,
the humid vault of the wetland
his camouflage. Wit and song
he leaves for others, prime

in his vigil, knowing without
memory, trusting without faith.
The door of his heartbeat opens,
and the same door slowly shuts. His sleep
and his waking are the same. Noon
sifts downward, and then the sunset
and soon, he knows, surely
very soon some quicker more beautiful
sojourner will discover
with what swiftness comes the end.


More animals poems soon (!)






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