Welcome to The Third [adjective][species] Poetry Collection! Each year, for the past few years, we have collected some poetry from those within the fandom centered around a loose theme. This year’s theme was **comunity and belonging**. Below are the submissions we received in no particular order (other than the fact that the first made Makyo cry on the plane).
The furry subculture is full of unbelievable talent, and it is our pleasure to showcase poetry from those who make up the fandom.
“Quigley Napoleon Underfoot” by Jazmine Bellamy
That little wet nose with the short legs & the crooked tail didn’t know
How broken the family he was becoming a part of was
All he knew was he was leaving yet another place behind
Another car ride to another place
Old Maggie finally had the chance & sat on him
Big Red & Bigger Jed were thrilled to see him go
He noticed off the bat
Just how quiet & sad his new mommy was
How much his new daddy didn’t seem to care
Past saying that getting him was a mistake
A year or many dog years later
He was back in that house they’d picked him up from
Big Red wasn’t there anymore
Old Maggie was older still
But a new friend was exciting
His new sister Grace
His mommy loved on them both so much
She was still sad
Some days more than others
But they all sat in the sun in the yard for hours
The years rolled by
Mommy was up and down and all around
Mommy was gone
A whole week gone she was
Daddy and his other girly stayed though
When mommy came home she was still scared but not as sad it seemed
Suddenly they were packing again
Everything in boxes and garbage bags
A new bed
Just the three of them
Yet the family wasn’t broken anymore
He was starting to feel old
As the years slowly shuffled past
Mommy brought home someone new
Patient & calm & kind
Who rubbed his ears just right
Scratched his back so good
His new daddy loved all of them
The family grew again
New daddy bought them all a bigger bed
But he still wanted to sleep right between them at night
This was the forever family he signed up for
When he left that foster home way back when.
“Fuzzed Gallery” by Z. Tanner
Sometimes people can only see
myself as a monstrosity
They spare no thought nor sympathy
no quarter given unto me
in spite of all this tragedy
that I have found a family!
Inside of the menagerie
They accept all identities
Genders and sexualities
with the words of simply be
Beauty paired with simplicity
of implicit animality
a strike against the world’s cruelty
Have I found such camaraderie
And this is where I becomes we.
So come join me and he and she,
Lots of room in this gallery
So with a kind heart and some glee
Welcome to our community.
Color Fur Power is
The power in the fibers
And those fibers come together.
In our superfurry bodies,
Our paws, arms, and faces.
Put on your head!
Yeah, put on your head!
Join our dancing mass of colors
In more than a parade,
More than a masquerade.
‘Cuz this time it’s for real.
Color Fur Power
Is our fierce furful love,
Our fierce furful hope,
Our fierce furful joy
Will shake the earth.
We shake the earth.
Until a stubborn monument falls,
And an ancient flag of black and white and red
We write for justice,
Speak for freedom.
For the fur family.
To dance around the flagpole
And the stubborn monument
And sing a freedom song.
We shake the earth.
With the blessing of the Sun,
And the blessing of the Moon,
Color Fur Power flows within us
Color Fur Power flows from us.
And the stubborn monument gives way.
The flagpole falls and the flag
Of black and white and red tears loose.
On to the ashes
“Call to Change” by Z. Tanner
This is our community
It belongs to you and me
We can make this place great
If we can just stomp out hate.
Cannot block this silent roar
The Poisoned hounds have taken root.
But we can heal this open sore.
If we can give them all the boot
Is not the time to tolerate
Nor is the time to anticipate
Now’s the time to stand and act
That’s not opinion that is fact
So Fuzzed friends and family
Which side is it gonna be?
“Thoughts From a Ewe in Late Autumn” by Jazmine Bellamy
As she watched the imperfect v’s overhead
This time headed south
“They should just find a place and be happy”
She shook her wooly head and lowered it
Back to the hay left out by the farmer
“My own sisters and I enjoy all that is here”
She mused as the shepherd dog lazed nearby
Eyeing all of his flock peaceful on the ground
“Even the Collie is one of us anymore”
She munched happily at the realization
Sure he wouldn’t appreciate it as much but still be amused
“Progress and Change” by Z. Tanner
We stand tall on
those that came before.
Refining our flaws
Carried to these shores
Breaking down these
Zoo walls bars and cages.
Reaching up to the stars
We be thoughtful sages.
Learn from our history
and one another
These animals we be
Are welcome as brother
And march on from
the dark of our past
Beasts who have learned
To make all this Last
Us Animals be
I’m glad to be here
With you and with me.
Continue with me,
In our diversity.
“Otters of the Northwest” by Jazmine Bellamy
The surface of the water breaks
A spray of droplets
Followed by happy chuffing
Spirals and rolls
The chill of the underwater world barely noticed
Elegant and free at the same time
Clown princesses and princes of their aquatic realms
But that beautiful dance
Oh to be able to move like they do
Dancing in beams of light that break between the currents
Precious moments of ephemeral grace
“Place called Fandom” by Z. Tanner
This place called fandom
is where I have found me
Yeah this place called fandom
is where I found me.
It gave me a place to explore
and room to be free
It’s such a wild place to be
friends encourage growth and change
Such a wild place to be
my friends help me grow and change
With radical inclusive love
The world we will rearrange
I am glad that I am here
with all expression to just be.
Oh so glad that I am here
And free to express all that be.
I am grateful that you are here,
We together make furry.
The winds awaken from their dead sleep,
on one of those nights around midnight or so.
It’s right about that time of night,
that I find myself wandering alone.
“You’d think by now I’d have learned to cope,”
I sigh to nobody passing by,
as I pull my coat in closer,
cuddling a ghost with all my might.
I remember saying something like
“You are the only one who understands me,”
but the gentle breeze upon my face
is my only hope for a reply.
Eventually, when my pilgrimage
has laid time to rest
and my skin feels just a bit too tight,
I come across wherever I was headed all this time:
this desolate freeway overpass
between the suburbs and the forest,
where balls of light dart
towards the endless darkness.
Then, I felt the wind pick up
and force me against the railing,
like the world had stopped moving
but the air continued past.
The trees bowed, the clouds scattered,
a golden moon blazed down from a clear sky,
and somewhere deep down inside,
something was aching to come out.
I cover my mouth as I stumble into the road
struggling to steady myself
watching the world roll around inside my head.
what on earth had come over me?
As the wind begins to clear
and the world shifts back into place,
I start to hear a familiar sound
coming somewhere from the town.
It started slow, a faint murmur
from the depths of the earth, rising
up to the rooftops, past the trees
into the swirling sky
From all over the city, the choir sings,
surrounding me with their music.
A howl—a million howls
ringing out through the sky;
and I with my silence,
begging to be released,
and the last of my will
floating away in the night…
So I did the only thing
I could ever do:
I let myself howl
and cared not who or what heard.
I have found them.
They have found me.
I was once called to serve among you
Proud as a lion I stood.
Tried to hear complaints all through,
Trying so hard to be good.
But yet like many I’ve stumbled
in fear I made a call
From that I didn’t fumble,
What I did was fall.
Felt like I was a broken cat
to far gone to redeem,
You all told me it’s not like that
That it wasn’t what it seems
I now still walk among you
As we are all friends true.
“Meaning and Self” by Makyo
There’s some duality between sources of meaning,
Between the types of stories we use to back identity.
It’s not quite good & bad or light & dark,
Though I’m not yet sure just how to define it.
Dad used to punish the dogs
by locking then in the basement.
If he was really mad,
he’d toss then down there by the scruff.
Mom moved me & her dogs to a new house —
moved us three days early during the divorce.
Her dog punched my ex stepdad in the crotch the night before,
the nut-shot to end all nut-shots, & our time there.
Few things make me feel as deeply about life as parenthood,
even if it’s just me caring for my dogs.
Some reminders of that are intense enough to be raw, painful,
salt in the wounds of mortality, maybe, or the ache of maternal love.
The meaning behind the story of me & my dogs
comes with a story of its own, or maybe several.
It’s bound up in stories to come,
& these stories nest infinitely deep.
Remembering that & shaping that,
It’s a part of making the meaning in my life.
This isn’t better against worse,
it’s not mom against dad.
It’s not a dichotomy at all, really,
now that I think about it.
It’s something subtler, comfortably complex, a topic of its own.
I guess it’s just meaning & self.
Birds of a feather
all chant together
cats in our clowders
come on now get louder
you ferrets in business
Ya’ll already got this
Dogs in your packs
we’ve all got your backs
Through this diversity
we all achieve unity
Join us and come in
There’s warmth here within.