Bestiary

Original Text: 
Last Makings: Poems by Earle Birney (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1991): 82-83. PS 8503 I75L38 1991 Robarts Library
3a cinnamon bearcub
4curled in a warm ball
5thinking of honey & berries
6nuts roots or even
7grass jelly for supper
8a sturdy raccoon too
9with marked eyes
10& dexterous forepaws
11very frequent to bathe
12& a bandit of ice cream
13who sleeps a lot
14with one slow hindpaw
15poking most modestly out
16or a shy bobcat
17coloured olive-brown
18or maybe pale gold
19with round
20slipper-fur feet
21on which she sits very quiet
22and so thoughtful
23beside her leafy plants
24she is sometimes invisible
25though very much there
27squirrel as well
28sinuous & all compact
29alert & frisky
30& away & back like a dream
31& whatever creature
32she is its peaceful emissary
33most faithful
34& most loving

Notes

1] A bestiary is a medieval manuscript of animals, real and fabulous. Back to Line
2] undulant: moving like a wave. Back to Line
26] ochre: reddish-brown. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1991
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2009
Rhyme: 
Special Copyright: 

© the Estate of Earle Birney. This poem is protected by Canadian copyright law. RPO is grateful to Madam Justice Wailan Low, the executor of Earle Birney's literary estate, for permission to publish. Anyone wishing to reprint this poem must seek permission in advance from the Birney estate.