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An owl hang-gliding in suspended flight,

An arrowheaded fox in mock attack

Beneath a northern pike

Whose pinking shears are open for a fight

That never comes, a lynx's ears pinned back

For some decisive strike. . . .


No dove is ever featured in a heap,

No walleye belly up.  This art contrives,

Although the eyes are glass,

To reawaken from their real sleep

Breakneck ferocity when the falcon dives,

Grace in the largemouth bass,


And overlooks their fixed, affected stare.

A more organic form would represent

No animal at all,

Its lifetime having melted into air,

But in a fairer attitude present

An empty pedestal.


Greg Williamson



From The Silent Partner, Story Line Press,

1994.  Reprinted by permission of the author
and Story Line Press, Ashland, Oregon.

Background by
Kitty Kapers

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