The Inaugural [adjective][species] Poetry Collection

It’s here, it’s finally here! It’s been a month in the works, but the inaugural [adjective][species] Poetry Collection is here. It’s been a lot of fun reading and putting together this set of amazing poems, getting to see the breadth of talent in the fandom. I know, as a poet myself, it’s sometimes difficult to sell your talent as as meaningful. I’ve had so many people, in-fandom and not, just raise eyebrows at the mere idea of poetry, so I’m glad so many people still write it.

I’m not here to set this post up too much. The poems are organized by flow, not by any ranking system. There is no winner—just a curated experience. Thank you to all the poets who submitted poems, and hopefully we can do this again soon.

~ Lunostophiles


 

Why a Weasel by George Squares

Because I’ve power when a lump of sadness sits in my chest,
and the feeling is utterly mine.
Quite the covetous catch with this feeling I snatch
from myself like the robin’s high treasure in nest.

I command hurting hunches to bunches
of bristles, and pine thistles, and mountain peak priories,
where dead clerics dance and damned fairies prance
in the carvings of soft-whittled wood.

The colors blind, barely, when fairly I flip
to the conclusion on the tip of my tongue—
though there in my throat it has clung
when you told me my voice was deeper than you thought.

But there’s many ways to squeak, and to hide, and to peek,
peek at you, yes at you, with my stare always blatant.
When night bleeds bland ink and in the earth, on your brink,
“things must get better,” you moan, and I wink. And I think.

How sad you can’t see me at home past the stack,
in the black. Keeping track.
When I write out my anguish it breaks. Snicker-snack.


 

At the Aquarium by Renee Carter Hall

The otters, all brothers,
curve and glide through the pool,
pushing off against the thick glass
and diving long and deep.
One plays a game with a sinking stone,

nosing it, batting it to keep it off the bottom,
as one might blow on a falling leaf.
The trainer finishes her talk and
calls for questions.
Little girl in the audience:

Why do they play with rocks?

Two answers come to mind—the scientific first,
describing how such a game would keep their skills honed,
thus helping them catch more fish, live longer, reproduce,
pass on their genes, ensure the species’ survival.
But the second answer feels more like truth:

that there is joy, however simple, in the feeling
of every muscle working in turn, rudder of tail,
dexterous webbed paws, all responding perfectly
in the sweet resistance of water.
No purpose served but in the act itself—
the satisfaction of the well-played game,
the image in sand, the completed poem.

Why do they play with rocks?
The trainer fumbles for an answer,
then admits she doesn’t know.


 

Shape-changed Heart by Amy Fontaine

You need not feel sorry for me
because I have dreams.
My mind harbors a multiplicity of faces,
of voices:
a flock, a pack, a pride.

It’s not a curse.
I’m not diseased.
I think it’s more like a superpower:

the ultimate Empath,
animal shaman,
able to shift into
all creatures under the sun.

I’ve found friends who understand
what it means to walk in two worlds.
To don one skin by day,
by night another,
to sing the praises
of the full-bellied moon.
Perhaps we are the lucky ones:

better to be a furred vagabond,
a roving Rover,
the owner of a shaggy,
shape-changed heart

than a listless tool
without a story to tell.


 

Wolf Break by Huskyteer

Eleven o’clock; coffee time.
I opened a pack of wolves.
Fur white as icing, they surged
through the office, staring and sniffing
with almond eyes and chocolate noses.
Flicking the crisp points of their ears,
they crunched across keyboards
dunked their paws in tea mugs
snapped gingerly at power cords.
Then, at the call of distant snows,
they took the lift and left, behind them just
a sugar dust of hair on carpet tile.
Next time I’ll get custard creams.


 

Procyon Prowling by Altivo Overo

In silence she slinks   through the silver-dewed garden,
Wandering walkways,   wishing for sustenance.
Her three ring-tailed children   thirst in the home den
For this matron of many,   a milk-bearing clan queen.

Soon will she show them,   in single file leading,
Walking through woodland   to where there is food
And water for washing   as will be required
To live on their own   in lonely repose.

But now has she need   of nourishing foodstuff
Herself, before comes here   the herald of dawn.
Black eyes like buttons,   buried in face mask,
Search not so well   for her sight is too poor.

All growing around her   too green are the berries,
The sweet roots not ripened   or succulent yet.
Thus takes she her tread   to the tall-hanging feeder
For birds it’s intended   but better than none.

Alas! Though long-reaching   and laboring efforts
She makes, it gains nothing.  A mumble, a hiss,
And she turns to the trash cans,   a top that is loose.
She knows it so well   as she nears it again.

Brief clatter. She’s in.   A complaint from a dog
Afar wills it otherwise   but wonder, none comes
To break up her feasting   in bones and waste matter
Abandoned and left   to best care for her now.

The brood that is waiting   will be cared for also:
No dearth of dark faces   to delve in the night.


 

Imprisoned Avian Dreams by Corvus

My love, I chirp this song a slave
Confined to sleep within this cage
Yet you’re the one that I so crave

I’m gone, but please don’t fill with rage
I’m here alone this restless night
Confined to sleep within this cage

My feathers dream to soar in flight
Yet lights go out as hope does too
I’m here alone this restless night

I’d rest my beak right next to you
We’d rise into the sky next day
Yet lights go out as hope does too

When I return, we’ll always play
For when we meet then you will see
We’d rise into the sky next day

I’m trapped for now and cannot flee
My love, I chirp this song a slave
For when we meet then you will see
That you’re the one that I so crave


 

Siderosophia by Steven Mando

Go down the oldest Woodland path,
And if you walk for long,
You’ll hear the Crow, the Owl, the Frog,
And the Fox, who sings his song.

He sings to her, who falls behind
His red and whizzing tail
He sings because he’s so in love
That he could sing for days.

“Come here, come here!” he tells her then
“Come look at the night sky!
The Moon is full, the clouds are gone
And Stars shine bright on high!

“And if I were to see the Stars
On lonely summer nights
I’d count them all, to wait for when
You’d come stay by my side

“And if we were to roam the Moon
And you would float away
I’d raise my paw, and grab your tail
And hold you there for days

“And if I were to walk the Sun
And burn off all my fur
I know, I know, deep in my heart,
You’d lend me yours for sure

“And if, on cold and endless nights
I’d fall off into space
You’d wait for me, my dearest love
You’d wait for days and days.”

She sighed, and watched with empty eyes
The one who thought he was loved
She shook her head, and turned her tail
And swiftly, she was gone.

“No sweat, no sweat,” the Fox would say.
“Tomorrow’s a new day
We’ll meet again, I know, my love
And for that I will pray!”

No words on Earth will ever fill
The large heart of a Fool.
But if he’s happy
let him be.
Real
life
can be
quite
cruel.


 

Tricky Fox by Mut

Tricky fox is quickly running.
Sleepy dog is idly sunning.
Fox in henhouse, feathers fly.
Bird in mouth and gleam in eye.
Dog left staring, jaws agape,
As hungry fox makes his escape.


 

never invite stray dogs into your home by Buck Riley

where were we, Love, ‘ere
we were were-
wolves, weavingwoven throughinto the night
sky, drinking the moon
light heavy like wine
(but why why why?)

You knew the (biblical) scents of a she(e)p
he(a)rd the swooning swaying crooning
of ani-mals of moon of dark of shadow
and (what?) of us.

and what (of us)?

a husband? no husband
ry is not your style
you prefer(RED) the wild and me
? I was – would be – wont to stay staid
but you stayed (,) a stray (,) and lead (past present
always present) me a-stray.

you taught me how(l)
and I learned (became) HOWL

and howl and how
to be reckless. no plastic
on the paisley couch, coach
ed in moonspeak and ani-mal-
content. you showed me

the way (my) ripe apples fall in
Autumn the smell of (cheap) leather in the
Summer the taste of dead (graveyard) dirt in the
Spring when the moon sighs

and sighs and sighs and sighs
O!

but what of us?

Love, we were are RECKless,
and I, Love, I am a wRECK
(un)less I reek
of wreaths of wildflowers, Love.
of stigma of stamen of sweat, Love, but
no Love! for steeple and stature and staid
Love, you cannot stay (how) you are
a stray, Love, you cannot stay a-stray.


 

True to You, Oh My Darling, in my Fashion by J/K Perique

I saw you rush away from Disney that day
You said it was just a Magicked Kingdom
Ceci n’est pas pour les autres quand nous

But by our byes they let us sit there
And wear our special hats
Though we both were Down and Out
Les enfants, magnifique, symphonique, mais ne sont pas terribles.

We should’ve seen you in a millicent
But your ship called
And you beamed up
To another port of call

We weren’t lost then either
Your guild is large, after all
But the new navigator had different eyes
Still blue, but full of fish and spice
Et on y va, mais c’était pas la même chose

We still called him Terry
In your honor, of course
But he preferred Bison and Banks
So we knew they could not stay
Our Culture must change
For even otters slip away

It was smooth sailing with the Bison
But we still missed you
So we named the next crewman Hatchette
Since she was so cute
Your type of gal, 知ってるの
But espacés a froid dans l’avion

So when we huddled for warmth
We learned it was a better name than we thought
The symmetry may never be broken
For our WELL is a circle, and a pool

But I still remember the fires we started
Dans le monde du les autres
Et je n’ai pas froid
From the memories and the letters

よく読ない
でもこの飲みは
あの時へ


 

Tutu the Tortie by Judith Vance

Black, brown, white tortie.
Adopted from Feline Friends.
Two empty nesters
laugh, play, pet, feed and water
the furry queen of the house.


 

FC 2010 by Shining River

In the winter of Twenty-Ten,
It was time for Further Confusion again.
In Sillycon Valley,
I went to a big furry rally.

Yes, those wild Furry fans
put together great plans.
They found a nice new hotel
For they knew very well
That thousands would attend
And have fun till the end.

On the Twenty-First of Jan-u-ary,
They traveled by cars, planes, trains, and maybe even a ferry.
To the Fairmont Hotel San Jose,
They all found their way.
When the hotel doors opened and hundreds rushed in,
We called out, “We’re here! Let the Gold Rush begin!”

I met online friends, whom I’d not seen before,
I looked all around and found even more.
A friendly Rat from Brisbane,
And a Red Deer from England.
I met a rabbit for coffee,
At a quarter to three.

The Fursuit Parade was a fire-hose of Fur!
Hundreds came marching down the corridur.
I saw BeastCub and Donkey
OzRoo and Yippee Coyote.
A tall white snow-beast from Star Wars, oh my heck,
and a quadruped Targ from Star Trek.
Such a huge variety,
And amazing awesome creativity.

Workshops and panels for teaching,
About writing, art and fursuiting.
Art shows and auctions to show, buy and sell,
Dealer’s Den sales were quite good, I could tell.
Masquerade, CritterOlympics and Furry Night Live,
I cheered, I applauded, I laughed ’til I cried.

Too soon Monday came and away home I flew,
FC Twenty-Ten,  I hope I never forget you.


 

Sex Thing or What by Leif the Otter

“Is it a sex thing, or what?”

The words linger in a void
divided by the clicks of Mom’s turn signal.
I can’t place finger nor paw on a wholly true answer

“What do you mean?”

I want to know who’s asking.

Is it the woman I would check behind my shoulders for?

Or the woman who signed notes “Mama Wolf,”
when she learned her teenage son was a bit weird?

“I mean… it’s… kinky…”

I’m sure she wants to know who’s answering.

Her little boy?

Her wolf pup?
A pervert?

The silver Jeep hums around the corner
as I struggle to find the right words.

“You even had a collar­­­ is it BDSM? …Well?”

She breaks her eyes from the road,
and I’m glad it’s dark out.

It hides the shame on my face.
Hides it better than I could ever hide
my fuzzy little secret.

“Kinda… the fandom’s reputation
isn’t entirely unfounded…”

Silence. Every muscle tenses,
as if I could jump out of all this,

this conversation,
this Jeep,
this world

I watch the road, in case she can’t.
My eyes, blue like hers, begin to itch.
Sensitive.

“But… I’ve made a lot of friends.”

My breath cuts the engine’s drone,
and a smile tugs at my muzzle.
My ears perk up,

“And it’s fun.”

I risk a glance her way,
and meet skepticism in her raised brow.

Skepticism… and a smile.

“Just be safe. Safe and happy.”

Our destination brakes any further response,
and parked, we sit for a few seconds,
letting our few words wash over us.

“I am.”

Human
Pervert
Wolf
Son

I am all of these.
“Sex thing” or not.

Safe
Happy


This article, as it contains poems from a variety of authors, may not be reproduced without permission from the authors.  Each poem is sole property of its creator.

About Lunostophiles

Lu has been in the fandom since he was 14, though Cheshire cat only came about seven years in. He is a creator, both of writing and of fibre arts, and sometimes pretends he’s a musician. When he grows up, Lu wants to be a Time Lord, but until then, he’s masquerading as a pop culture polyglot.

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9 thoughts on “The Inaugural [adjective][species] Poetry Collection

  1. A bit of a departure for [adj][spec] but a delightful interlude just the same. All of these (I’ll exclude commenting on my own though) are terrific. I’m pretty sure those last lines of “Siderosophia” are supposed to trail away to the right, though. Inserting some mandatory blank spaces would do the trick.

    1. Ooh, thanks for pointing that out. We had a back-and-forth on how to accomplish that with WordPress, but it appears the changes didn’t stick. We’ll get those in place soon!

  2. I think that this is a really terrific collection. I’ve had a bit of time with a few of these poems, and even so there is a lot to chew over and return to. It’s a big, meaty, high-quality collection. Congratulations to everyone who took part.

    Lu, I think you’ve done a great job with the flow as well. The whimsy of Huskyteer’s delightful absurdism and Mut’s sunny little nugget do a good job of breaking up the heavier and longer pieces. And I really liked that you’ve paired the two most formal poems, Altivo’s and Corvus’s.

    Anyway, brilliant stuff. With luck, we’ll get to do it all again next year.

  3. WOW ! Just Wow ! I love the passion of these poems. I like the variety of the different styles. Hope you continue this project.

    Jelliqal

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