I Am David Attenborough and These Are My Nature Poems

There’s a Boat

for Nelly

Do you want to take a ride with me?
See deep denizens flitting imperceptible to fleeting eye?
Slow motion capture,
capture I command!—water droplets
erupting skyward, from placid surface burst.

When shallow sea behemoths rise to feed among the weak and unfit
I will ride.
Do you want to take a ride with me?
Before polyethylene islands
drown the king beneath the waves,
the orca with her seaweed crown,.
the giant squid, suckers a thousand leagues long
draws broken marrow from the dark water chasms
The great white is gnashing rage, skin the moon’s turned face.
You can’t see it, unless you skate upon it, a shell beneath your feet.
If you wanna take a ride with me, there’s a boat, my name writ upon its jib,
writ thereby on water

If you want to take a ride with me, you can.
Hey. It must be the money that I’ve brought to the mother country
to earn a warship, on these
rising tides
of salinity

 

Run, Motherfucker, or that Cheetah will eat your Entrails

for DMX

There, in the distance, the speck, the enigma, the hidden X
moves through Kenyan plains.
Through high grass, behind trees,
stalking, stalking, stalking.
Gazelle! I implore you! Channel me.
Break bread with the enemy.
But no matter how many cats I break bread with.
I’ll break who you sending me.

It is clear now, when we zoom in,
our eyes the window to nature’s world.
Gazelle! I implore you as the cheetah approaches, channel me.
First we gonna rock.
Then we gonna roll.
Then we let it pop, go let it go!

Run, gazelle,
cheetah’s breath upon your tail. The X marks it.
Feel it draw near, your tender underbelly
its hearth roast.
I put in work, and it’s all for the kids
but these cats done forgot what work is.
You can sprint away, you can outlast the cheetah.
Stay with the herd, it protects you!

But heed me you have not
and as its claws dig your flank, hot mouth hunting your hidden loins realize this:
X gon give it to ya. He’s gon give it to ya.

 

Xenomorphs ain’t got Shit on Birds of Paradise

for 2pac

I attended this party
not long ago
in the hills surrounding the city of angels.
Beverly D’Angelo’s house–
she was once an actress.

In her sitting room, beside the divan
perches a bird of paradise.
I sat beside this bird.
At the party,
in the hills surrounding the city of angels
Because California, it does know how to party.

At this party, outside a city.
Not Compton. Another one.
This bird of paradise
danced for me.
It danced for the world.
It showed its tail feathers.
It shook to burn the world to the ground.
Hoping, hoping beyond hope,
that those that let it ride,
would arrive.

There are no mates for you, I told this bird of paradise.
This poor, widowed bird of paradise.
And I heard a voice
at this party, in the hills surrounding the city of angels.

It was Weaver
(she was in Alien Resurrection)
(she dubbed Planet Earth for the Americans)
(why did the American replace me?)
(Didn’t they see Alien Resurrection?)
And I said,
“picture me rolling.”

My body folded, tucked, transformed.
My spirit porcupine unleashed from my
torso, a ball of velocity and prickly quills
propelled by indignation.

 

Artwork: Collage by Corey Kolb

About the author

Michael B. Tager

Michael B. Tager is a writer and editor from Baltimore, MD. Recent work has appeared in Barrelhouse, Electric Literature, Hobart and The Collagist. He does not approve of the Oxford Comma.