Animal Planet – a slam poem by Laurie Jurs

A big thanks to Laurie Jurs for submitting the slam poem “Animal Planet” below. 

In Laurie’s words:

I have lived in the desert on five acres south of Green Valley since 1987. This slam poem is about staying home and finding out new things about a place I thought I knew well. It will best be read out loud and kind of fast. Be sure to read the TALKING word letter by letter. Cascabeles diamantinas are diamondback rattlesnakes.  Colorado sapos are Colorado River toads, which are quite large and considered ugly by many. The last four lines are from a campfire folk song. If you know it, sing it! 


June 2020

Didn’t plan it but we do it
Now we got to live through it
Stay home
Don’t roam
Shelter in place
Don’t show your face

Thought I knew my home range after 33 years
Maybe all this was always here
Thought I knew my place
But it wasn’t the case
Turns out I only scratched the surface
And it is my monkey and it is my circus
What I’m learning is giving me purpose

Noah’s Ark
Theme Park
Dark skies
Animal eyes
Brand new world with each sunrise

If there’s keys to the kingdom
They’re not mine to give
The M.O. here is Live and Let Live

Siddhartha and St. Francis
Sit beneath a tree
Whether snake or toad or rat or bee
Gotta Have a Heart
And set them free

The rats go down on the Anza Trail
Benevolent deportation
There’s been so many these last weeks
Bet they’ve started their own nation

Y los cascabeles diamantinas
Play their part in the cuarantenas
And the Colorado sapos tan grandes tan feos
Psychedelic con neurotoxicos
And the swarms of bees, blessed pollinators
Needed natural relocators
And out on the road
The monster from the Gila
Lumbers along like a mini-Godzeela

It’s surround sound, theatre in the round
Totally stereophonic, supersonic
Donkeys bray to the east
Peacocks shriek to the west
And the song dogs are certain that they’re the best

And the ravens rave over the flora and fauna
And they all party on like there’s no manana

We live in the middle of this symphony, cacophony and harmony
Thank Gaia there’s room for you and me

*  *  *  *  *

All God’s critters have a place in the choir
Some sing low and some sing higher
Some sing out loud on the telephone wire
And some just clap their hands, their paws or anything they got now!