Animal Planet—Prompts Inspired by Emma Bolden

We are losing species and whole populations at a horrifying rate: even insects are disappearing and the next age . Perhaps this reason is why of all the amazing poems in Emma Bolden’s House Is an Enigma, her “Between Sea and Sky” is the one I needed to share. This poem “animals” the world and the universe, perhaps a necessity one day.

For this prompt, do the same. Rather than peopling this planet, refill it with wild creatures, species of all kinds. If we lose the bees, let them hum in dandelion and cracked sidewalk. Let each grain of sand embody an ant that once tunneled teeming cities. See the glitter of a dragonfly in glass shards and hear the soft cooing of a dove in morning drizzle. Make an interstate a river of leaping salmon, the exhaust the heavy breathing of a predator. If the oceans mirror the void between stars, turn every desolate wave into fin and feather. Let the stars hiss back at us, we who sought to grasp what was out of reach and let go of what could be sheltered within our palms.  


“Between Sea and Sky” was originally published as “Melancholy Between Sea and Sky” in Escape into Life. And, please, buy the book. House Is an Enigma is beautiful and aching.