Cameras Reveal a Hidden World*

lives of island carnivores
stories revealed by secret shots
from lenses hidden in the pines
in Canada yew underbrush
with motion-triggered cameras
biogeography theory illustrated
here on the Apostle Islands
bigger islands, more species
farther islands, fewer species
Michigan Island has only one carnivore

what are these carnivores eating?
few food sources—
habits revealed
eyes caught in the flash
ten species in all
marten, weasel, fisher — furbearers
with teeth that tear
gray wolf, coyote, bobcat
shy in the shadows
raccoon, red and gray fox
foraging by full moon
black bear

pore over hundreds of images
from one hundred sixty cameras
review the data
about the islands
black bears can swim
one island to the next
foxes can trot across firm ice
one island to the next
dynamics of species
island lives
surprise after surprise

 * Poem can be read forward or backward by line

Headline from Ashland Daily Press, February 23, 2019

Lucy Tyrrell.jpg

Lucy Tyrrell moved to Bayfield after 16 years in Alaska. She holds a Ph.D. in botany from the University of Wisconsin Madison. Her favorite verbs to live by are experience (canoe, mush, travel) and create (quilt, paint, write). She gathers poem ideas from nature, travel, family, and interesting writing prompts.