Walking around the lake this afternoon,
something about the cottonwood leaves, strewn\
along the shore, and how the colors glowed,
and the reflections in the water slowed
me down, let me begin to see, if you
know what I mean, as if I were seeing through
God’s eyes, or dog eyes. Who knows what dogs see,
or how they manage to project such glee,
such happiness, despite the constant strain
of living within range of wretched brains.
The sixth extinction can’t be turned around.
If nothing’s done, and soon, we too will drown,
weighed down by overgrown prefrontal lobes,
plotting and scheming, sending out space-probes
beyond the reach of our sun’s golden light,
in hopeless hope of finding other life,
a garden paradise, not yet sucked dry—
Pulled back to planet earth, the sudden cries
of geese, waddling away, the dogs in chase,
geese, water-born, gliding along, dogs racing
to catch up. Suddenly, across the lake,
that prehistoric Great Blue Heron takes
flight, cries out, in her ancient, haunting voice,
asking, asking: Do we have a choice?
John W. Steele, a clinical psychologist and yoga teacher, is a student in the MFA Creative Writing Program at Western State Colorado University.