Poetry by Kate Ennals

after Primo Levi

Back in time, after forty days of rain

Thousands of animal species drowned.

For months, world was quiet, dark.

Water lapped on breathless shores,

was absorbed. Earth became a roil of mud.

In the collective sucking and shlucking 

emerged rebirth. Out of the conjugation of 

valleys, trees, rocks, plains, and skies

evolved a range of different species.

Giraffes were made from mountains 

strutting sunshine. Hippos were born

from the union of water and stone. 

Lions prowled from thunder and sky. 

Whales were spawned by cavorting islands. 

Turtles grew out of rocks and sand.

Bats came from breezes swooping the land. 

Chimpanzees sprang from a dance of leaves.

Unicorns flew out of the precipitation between

Earth and soil.

The gibber and chatter, song, and shrieks 

told tales of life’s Beginning: its loves 

battles, famines, feasts, until its fiery

climactic cycle…then a bang…

Dead silence returned.


Arrows of limelight split the trees

To direct a play of sun and leaf

Delicate sprays of pink cuckoo flower 

sing between the ivy strung bowers 

Blasts of sharp garlic battle the breeze 

tussle for dominance with wood anemones. 

By the lake, bugleweed blows its own airs 

accompanied by the drumroll heard in the scamper 

of four-pawed animal. Shy fern leaves blossom

and unfurl a hundred score of tiny cellos. 

In the dusty soil of the fairy pine wood, 

gnarled ancient roots twist to conduct 

an overture to a moving Spring concert.

About the contributor

Kate Ennals has published poems and short stories in a range of literary and on-line journals. Her first collection of poetry At The Edge (Lapwing) was published in 2015. Her second collection, Threads (Lapwing), was published in April 2018. Kate runs At The Edge, Cavan, a literary reading evening. She blogs at kateennals.com

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