Peopled Posts of the Urban Prairie
– Polly Knowlton Cockett
What say you of this storied place,
In this remnant, this outlier of fabled fescue?
The deep heritage of time immemorial arises
In unfolding, outspread, and rolling vistas.
Here the painters and the poets,
The children and the neighbours,
Take notes, make notes, hear notes
Of the more-than-human voices of this place.
Amazingly active anthills and broken bumpy bark,
Caterpillars, cocoons, and dark red dogwood dye,
Eccentric erratics and finding frosty footprints.
Gracefully gliding geese and handsome harebells,
Incredible icicles and jittery jumping jackrabbits,
And kind-hearted kids on the knoll.
Ladybugs in the leaf litter and misty midnight moons,
Knowing gnomons, offset ears and orb like eyes,
Protective pathways amongst a quivering quiet.
Rough rugged rocks and silently slinking salamanders,
Tall tapered tipi trees and the understorey’s undulating umbra,
Variegated vertical veins, and wild whizzing wasps.
Excellent xeriscaping, and young sprigs of yarrow,
From zero to zenith, in collaborative community,
In conservation; in conversation.
Celebrating the voices of and for this precious place.
Polly Knowlton Cockett
Dr. Polly L. Knowlton Cockett, with a background in geology and environmental education, is involved in ecological literacy, sense of place studies, urban native biodiversity conservation, wild pedagogies, and socioecological cartography in Calgary.