From Issue II (2017)   

Bloom  by KERRY R. THOMPSON Oil on canvas , 60 x 48 in., 2015

Oil on canvas , 60 x 48 in., 2015


The Songs of Animals


It’s not sound but a whole language that coos,
whale-horns blaring through deeps, epic birdsong
honking Odysseys from the homebound goose,

prattling prairie dogs, cows lowing love songs
on seaside cliffs looking past waters broad
with silver dolphins. The cows moo their long

faces for continents, their bulls abroad
in grass tendered with dew-shod hooves from calves
shipped to new pastures where those meadows applaud

in grasshopper wings. No such place is had
but in singing. And beasts in ranchers’ fields
compose paradisiacal songs halved

between this world and their howling concealed
at night before overfished oceans yield.

There is a song by sows we condescend
to think is sound,
“I dream of my shoats lost from my teats
like snowflakes that descend on farms.
There is a cosmos without frost, without bars by hutches
darkening warm and honeyed light.

The wide world shall be crossed to this place;
our swine exodus shall swarm past field and stream,
the rainbow’s bending brow and fields that sing.

Our wet and tender forms shall dry
and our snouts kissed by cat and cow.
The lioness and man cannot harm us
and our bellies’ fruits birthing may allow
our young’s bristly suckling.
Someday the must
from cages buries in white seas to rust.”

Eric Fisher Stone

Eric Fisher Stone is a graduate student at Iowa State University’s MFA in creative writing and environment program. He is originally from Fort Worth, Texas. He is obsessed with animals, and he is most infatuated with the collared peccary, more commonly known as the javelina. His poems have appeared in Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, The Lyric, Jersey Devil Press, Uppagus, Zetetic: A Record of Unusual Inquiry, Turtle Island Quarterly, Dime Show Review, and Eunoia Review, among others.

Kerry R. Thompson

Kerry R. Thompson earned a master’s degree from the New York Academy of Art in 2014 and since then has continued to paint, exhibit, work, and teach in New York City. His work is both a celebratory and critical exploration of the delicate and highly complex natural biological systems of the world and the artificial human relationship to those systems. His work also investigates the human role as an orchestral force acting on these systems from the outside, not within.