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Four Skunks

14 April, 2018: Four Skunks


by Jill Lange

Four Skunks

At twilight,
as the fireflies awaken,
four skunks meander
nose to tail
through my yard.
Three carry wide white stripes
from tip of head
to bushy tail.
The fourth wears his stripe upside down,
sports a skinny black tail
and . . . Oh! . . . a collar around his neck.
My cat, Dance!

“Four Skunks” by Jill Lange, from Tributaries, a Journal of Nature Writing. Owl Walk Press, 2000. Also from Hessler Street Poetry Anthology. Crisis Chronicles Press, 2016. Used by permission of the author.
Jill Lange comes to poetry from a diverse professional background in art and environmental education, interior design, technical writing and editing, and law, specializing in immigration. These influences plus a lifetime connection to nature and a sense of social justice pepper her work. From 2003 to 2008, she served on the editorial committee for Tributaries, a Journal of Nature Writing, published by Cuyahoga Valley National Park – at that time the only poetry journal to be published by any park in the National Park Service. Currently, she is focusing on short poems, primarily haiku and haiku-like. Her work has been published in journals and anthologies online and in print both in the United States and internationally.


Make up a narrative poem based on a collective noun such as a “murder of crows,” a “coterie of prairie dogs” or a “crèche of penguins.” You can find other such terms at or by doing an online search for “collective nouns.”

Pride of Lions

King of beasts
Collective pride
The cause the fall
But do not fall

Thick heavy mane
Vigorous roar
King of beasts
Collective pride
4/14/2018 1:09:27 PM

James Lawless
Cool tingle

Early, before the fog
has cleared, fingers
float at the side
of the canoe, seeking
the site where fish
are swimming
but all I get
is a shudder.

Jim Lawless
April 9, 2018
4/14/2018 11:01:12 AM

N. K. Hasen
Sleuth Of Bears Go Down To River

Days of Summer filled the air.
Rivers sparkle water upon their surface.
A sleuth of bears wade where river current flow the fastest.
Their space was three paws wide across the river wide.
They waited in earnest for the river flow,
For coming up the stream, they would get their prize.
Their favorite dish they hope to catch, a salmon within their paws.
The sleuth of bears waited; hunkered down for they smelled them coming.
Then they saw with joy in their eyes; salmons jumping the river.
They swiped with their paws with lots of misses.
They swiped again and had great successes.
They used their mouths with disappointed.
Back to claw out of paws to catch their food.
They continue throughout the day.
Till right before the setting sun.
Out of river the sleuth of bears come.
They shake the fur dried and laugh of food they acquire.
Off they go their caves to sleep;
Their bellies full.
They still have few more days;
To feast along the river before salmon disappears.
Then they will get ready for long winter night.
Gathering nuts and berries; to stuff themselves.
But now the young sleuth of bears will enjoy their time together.
4/14/2018 9:25:23 AM

READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.