Cathexis Northwest Press
Humans and extinctions
By: Anita Nahal
The last fledgling was born just before humans came along to burn history. Boulders yawned with wide open mouths and let out ecstatic, climatic, high pitched sounds. The skies were eerily discreet with hands behind ears trying hard to decipher inaudible echoes that reverberated in the leaden, dreary, water filled clouds. A kind of protracted, daunting humming could be heard miles away, and rain was beginning to fall uniform and demonstrative, falling into new rivers being charted at the confluence of liquids, heat, oxygen and mud. Tall standing Megalania hit their chests, drumming the birth shower to an end as mom and fledgling watched the regalia reach its crescendo. The mom perched above the baby completing the shedding of the amniotic fluid, and perched even higher above the cacophony, anxious and vexed, ready to pounce and gobble any extinct predators emerging from abrasions in dimensions. Mom and fledgling both angled cautiously, their eyesight acute and fully awake observing the humans igniting the match. Genyornis vanished soon after.
Anita Nahal is an Indian American poet, flash fictionist, children’s writer and columnist. Anita has two books of poetry, one of flash fictions, four for children and three edited anthologies to her credit. Her third book of poetry, What’s wrong with us Kali women, is due for release by Kelsay Books in August 2021. Two of her books are prescribed in a course on multiculturalism and immigration at the University of the Utrecht, The Netherlands. Anita teaches at the University of the District of Columbia, Washington DC. Anita is the daughter of Sahitya Akademi award winning Indian novelist, Chaman Nahal and educationist, Sudarshna Nahal. Anita resides in the US with her son, daughter in law and golden doodle. More on her at: https://anitanahal.wixsite.com/anitanahal
"This poem is part of a collection of ekphrastic poems I am writing for my fourth ongoing book. The image of the Genyornis Birds rock painting from Australia dating 40,000-30,000 (approx) BC impacted me deeply as it confirmed once again my belief of the relentless destruction we humans heap onto our planet, the only home we know as of now, Mother Earth. The image so clearly yet subtly shows that all mothers worry for the life and safety of their children and we humans are cruel and narcissist that we believe we are the best of all species, even the alien kind whom we depict as monsters in movies."
The image that inspired this exkphrastic poem can be found here: https://thefuzzysasquatch.blogspot.com/2016/02/the-other-megafaunal-extinction.html