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.



She arrives again

when you've given up,

let the past go,

begun a future of no certain

value, put away last

night's dishes,

and said to yourself almost

believing it that continuing

is a kind of faith, a small

acceptance of every night.

And as you sit and cross off

the list, things to do, requirements

for the days ahead, she steals

past you, letting her

silence slide along

the hem of your solitude.

And settles just,

just beyond your reach.





The sky has vanished and

the bear cannot be seen.


Day has gone, and night is all there is,

from the beginning to this present

instant with its wrinkled glacier.

The bear sleeps in the earth,

and the land is blank, white

starlight over empty ice.

The bear stirs but does not wake.

Moss and lichen

are buried under ceaseless

silence, slope and ridge

turned to glass.

Even the wind is ancient,

weighing down on every

uncovered stone,

suppressing every hue.

This is midnight as the bear

slumbers underground.

This is predawn, nothing changed. This is

his increasingly broken dream,

his flagging sleep, progressively imperfect

oblivion, breaking light

through the chapters of soil.

This is hunger rising in the east.


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