Listening for Mice
by Ellison Photography
We all have the freedom to choose how we see our world.
And how we see our world affects how we act in our world…….
HOW DO YOU SEE COYOTE?
WHY DO YOU SEE COYOTE THAT WAY?
HOW DOES IT AFFECT YOUR BEHAVIOR TOWARD COYOTE?
IS YOUR LIFE RICHER OR POORER ?
Here is a writing from the community… a man’s way of seeing Coyote. Would you say that his life is richer because of how he is “seeing?“
“The Ghosts of Evergreen Cemetery by Mark McCullough
COYOTE INSPIRES ART AND POETRY~
The following poem was recently written by one of our Maine poets when he visited our Coyote Connections Art Exhibition at the University of New England’s Gallery in Portland, Maine, and was inspired by “The Ghosts of Evergreen Cemetery.”
O keepers of the night
and reapers of the weak —
O omnivores of voles and mice,
berries, domestic cats, and roadkill,
who maintain the strong by
culling the sickly and unfit,
long may you thrive.
“Ghosts of Evergreen Cemetery”
marking the gravestones of
Nathan Clifford and others,
your silent stealth is legendary—
bringing your voices to bear only
when lonely or in need of
a chorus to the moon.
Your presence noted more
by tracks in the snow than sightings,
we love knowing you are with us
in Portland and every County in Maine.
May your value to our world
be recognized and celebrated
in art and song forever.
December 5, 2014
“They (coyotes) cannot forget their freedom, and they will not lick the feeding hand that bars them in. Their self reliance and free exercise of their intelligence belongs only to the conditions of freedom. Their spirits wither with the clank of chains.” from The Voice of the Coyote by Frank Dobie
Other intelligent and socially complex species share this same experience as Coyotes…..
This book you see here the Last Chain on Billie touches deeply on the words of Frank Dobie. I highly encourage everyone to read this book. The author, Carol Bradley follows the life of Billie, and Asian elephant stolen from his mother as a baby, and details the 50 years of abuse and suffering at the hands of the Circus. But it is also about the lives of hundreds of these highly intelligent social beings (like Coyote) who have experienced the intolerable suffering at the hands of humans.
OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH WILD BEINGS HAS A GREAT DEAL TO DO WITH OUR PERCEPTIONS OF OURSELVES……Why is it that as a society we allow the imprisonment and suffering of wild beings? We allow their imprisonment for our entertainment…..like Elephants and Killer whales, and we allow the slaughter of those who are free like Coyotes and Wolves, punishing them for their freedom……
WHAT DO WE WANT TO TEACH OUR CHILDREN? Taking our children to be entertained by imprisoned and suffering wild beings teaches our children one thing……it teaches about relationships with them that express a deep lack of respect for who they really are…..and for who we really are.
photo by Janet Kessler
DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT THESE TWO COYOTES ARE EXPRESSING THEIR AFFECTION TO EACH OTHER ….. OR DO YOU BELEIVE THAT ONLY WE HUMANS CAN DO THIS?
Because what you believe will shape your actions.
So our science keeps seeking to know our wild ones in ways we never could imagine. And the “knowing” is not merely what we observe about them physically, but more important, understanding their inner world. This is the Science of the Future, as we evolve as humans.
And so the following words from Henry Beston’s Classic book, The Outermost House, ring true of an understanding we are reaching for ~
“We need a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature, and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge, and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion.
We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken a form so far below ours. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.
They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other Nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the Earth.”
And so it is for Coyote….
Is this world truly fallen? They say no.
For there’s the new moon, there’s the Milky Way,
There’s the rattler with a wren’s egg in its mouth, …
And there’s the panting rabbit they will eat.
They sing their wild hymn on the dark slope,
Reading the stars like notes of hilarious music.
Is this a fallen world? How could it be?
And yet we’re crying over the stars again,
And over the uncertainty of death,
Which we suspect will divide us all forever.
I’m tired of those who broadcast their certainties,
Constantly on their cell phones to their redeemer.
Is this a fallen world? For them it is.
But there’s that starlit burst of animal laughter.
The day has sent its fires scattering.
The night has risen from its burning bed.
Our tears are proof that love is meant for life
And for the living. And this chorus of praise,
Which the pet dogs of the neighborhood are answering
Nostalgically, invites our answer, too.
Is this a fallen world? How could it be?
poem by Mark Jarman
photo by Jan Myers
by Leslie Moore
They hug the margins of fields,
slip into the creases between trees,
glide across gravel roads at dawn or dusk,
bellies close to the ground, tails
trailing. We hardly know they are here and think
all of this is ours – the property, the shorefront,
the view – until moonless nights
when a choir of coyotes sings to the stars
and one paces the length of our driveway
leaving tracks in the snow and scat
where the dog and I are sure to find it.