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Friday, August 07, 2009


by Karla Linn Merrifield

On the day when three subtropical dragonfly species
appeared at Galveston Island Beach, metallic imitations
patrol far overhead—Coast Guard issue,
draconian Homeland Security spawn.

Gallardia daisies stalk sunflowers on young dunes,
blooming open to the menace above,
some going to seed; they heed not the spying beasts.
Laughing gulls maniacally cackle,
idling away hours along the wrack line.
From a loose rope strung low across the Gulf,
pelicans plunge one by one out of formation
into shallow waters, feeding according to
perfected instinct, ignoring the armed monsters.

Only Homo sapiens of the tourist variety,
myself included, lying on the sand are terrorized,
knowing those hovering creatures,
like practiced predators, take their prey alive.

A Pushcart Prize nominee and 2009 Everglades National Park Artist-in-Residence, Karla Linn Merrifield has had poetry appear in dozens of print and online publications as well as in many anthologies. She has four books to her credit (Midst, Godwit: Poems of Canada, Dawn of Migration and Other Audubon Dreams, and The Dire Elegies: 59 Poets on Endangered Species of North America); a fifth is forthcoming this fall, Etowah River Psalms. She is poetry editor of Sea Stories, book reviewer and assistant editor for The Centrifugal Eye and moderator of the poetry blog, Smothered Air. She teaches at Writers & Books in Rochester, NY. She reads her poems to audiences regularly, most recently in Theodore Roosevelt National Park.