Animal Caution

By Chase Twichell b. 1950 Chase Twichell
Whenever I touch the cairn
marking the summit
of one of my parents,
touch the top stone,
an animal caution comes over me,
sinew and muscle like the brook’s,
a sudden shivering
green-brown flame.
Soon they will be constellations,
and I a small tower of stones.

Chase Twichell, "Animal Caution" from Dog Language (Copper Canyon Press, 2005).

Source: Poetry (January 2005).


This poem originally appeared in the January 2005 issue of Poetry magazine

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January 2005
 Chase  Twichell


Chase Twichell was born in New Haven, Connecticut. She earned her BA from Trinity College and MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. A practicing Buddhist, she is the author of several books of poetry, and her work often reflects her spiritual practice. In an interview Twichell note that “Zen is said to be a ‘mind-to-mind transmission.’ The best poems are exactly that: they leap from one mind to another without stopping to explain . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

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