“Taking a cue from Bishop, I’d like to challenge you today to write a poem about an animal. If you’d like to take a look at some other poems for inspiration, you might like James Dickey’s “The Dusk of Horses,” or Tennyson’s “The Eagle.””
Curious duckbilled thief, I caught you stealing time,
You peeped, squealed, rolled into corners where no one could peep.
Your black-eyes are wide, fluffy innocence peers back.
And your tiny lashes flick, as you hide within fur,
The jingle of coins jolts you, they roll ’round your tummy.
A Crown falls to the floor, you’re off running — to save what’s left of your treasure.
You’re sure no one will catch you– this time you’ve got us beat.
The royal jewels are in your fur-folds somewhere,
You’re a petty pad-foot, harmless, too snuggly for words;
You’re an armful of trickster; you hate being caught.
When I demand my wallet, my cash, and watch,
You cock your coal-dark head,
Perhaps, you didn’t know they were there at all? (You imply).
Tucked under belly rolls, in corners, and squishy edges,
I sigh, take back my treasure, hold out my hand, you chirp —
Duck billed platypus, creature of mole (some other beasts I imagine too).
Your thieveries a whimsy, but no ones fooled,
All you love is gold, silver if you must . . .
You’ll catch it in a sec, a poof of magic dust.
Your duckbilled lips smile, as you scamper down the stairs,
Yet, the things you hold dear, are the most worthless wares.
Welcome back to my biweekly interview series. Today I’m interviewing Lee Ann from the blog: Animals Are Feeling Beings Too. As LeeAnn’s blog focus is more on helping animals through her blog, the focus of this interview will be slightly different than past interviews.
1. LeeAnne, Please Tell Us About Yourself and Your Blog?
I have always been a quiet, deep-thinking, and observational person.Through deep-thinking and my tendency to observe, I noticed a lot of aspects about animals. Watching them, and paying attention to them, I fell in love with them.
As I am a quiet person, I feel I tend to get lost in the crowd much of the time. I noticed a similar thing often occurred with animals;they were getting lost in the crowd too when people didn’t pay attention and take care of them. Intrinsically, I felt their worth, their needs, and I noticed the way some of them were not treated nicely. My passion for helping animals was born.
2. When Did You Begin Blogging ? What Does Writing and Blogging Mean to You?
I had taken classes for Web Design in 2013 and one of the assignments was to create a blog. My blog was my current blog: Animals Are Feeling Beings Too and I wrote on it occasionally over the next few years. However, in August 2016 I started blogging regularly. I have had different experiences with writing throughout my life.
Back in elementary school I first fell in love with poetry and writing (and my poetry teacher J). Since then, I have written several poems over the years, but only for my family and friends for special occasions such as weddings, graduations, and other special events. Currently, some of my responsibilities at work include writing newsletters and social media posts.
Blogging means everything to me because of what I write about. I adore animals and feel passionate about helping them. I have been trying to figure out my entire life how to utilize my love for animals. When the assignment came up in my course to create a blog, my teacher told me she thought I should continue with my ‘helping animal’ themed blog.
I guess you could say a light bulb went off in my head. It took me a few years to apply myself, consistently blogging. But I think I had troubles because I was burnt out from being on a computer all day between work and school. I write because I want to help animals by spreading the word about animals who are abused, the worth of animals, and our responsibility to care for them.
” I write because I want to help animals by spreading the word about animals who are abused, the worth of animals, and our responsibility to care for them.” – LeeAnn
3. Where Do You Find Your Motivation and Inspiration to Write? Is There A Time Of Day You Prefer To Write?
Unfortunately, there are way too many people out there harming animals and not enough laws to protect the animals. This is where my inspiration and motivation comes from. I want to make a difference and ensure fewer animals are harmed. I also feel a lot of people are unaware of how much animal abuse exists and how few laws there are to protect animals (pets).I am hoping to bring light to these issues on my blog.
I am more alert and ‘fresh’ in the late morning after I have some coffee; however, because I have a full-time job, a lot of my writing and blog posts are done in the evening after work.
4. Do You Have Any Current Pet-Related Writing Projects or Hopeful Ones? Are You Planning on Publishing Anything Related to Animals?
My blog is my current and ongoing project. I am only six months into regular blogging, so I am still new at blogging. I am working hard at ‘getting my writing out there’ on animal issues. My hope is to grow my traffic, not for my sake, but for the sake of animals and to make a difference.
So far, I’ve not published anything other than blog posts. I have considered writing a children’s book on empathy towards animals someday. I believe since children are our future, teaching them to be considerate towards animals could make a huge difference on the way animals in the in years to come will be treated by their owners (etc.) I may also turn some of my blog posts into a book someday.
” I believe since children are our future, teaching them to be considerate towards animals could make a huge difference on the way animals in the in years to come will be treated by their owners (etc).” – LeeAnn
5. What Is Your Writing Process Like When Focusing on Animals?
As I mentioned, there is so much animal abuse going on, so there is not a lack of topics to write about. If I see a story on the web about an animal that was abused, I start thinking and the writing process for a post begins.
For example, after going to the Renaissance Festival I noticed an elephant chained to a contraption which only allowed him to move around in a circle giving people rides. I started thinking and when I was home, I wrote about this event and how awful it was for the poor elephant to be so confined and probably abused.
6. Do You Have Any Advice For Other Bloggers or on Advice on How People Can Help Animals in Need?
I am not a ‘professional’ writer, but as another blogger said: “If you’re writing on a blog, you are a writer.” Writing and blogging are skills I and other writers improve on with time. I am still learning and growing as I learn more about blogging, particularly for my significant cause. As well on my blog’s About Page I wrote this about how people can aid animals:
“Supporting animal organizations is . . . one way I help animals . . . I write about a wide variety of topics and types of animals, and I usually share links so you can check out the organization/topic being discussed.
There are many ways we can all help animals. Donating items to shelters, writing letters, signing petitions, volunteering time at an animal organization, sharing my posts to spread the word, and much more.” – LeeAnn
7. Do You Have Anything Else You’d Like To Share With Readers on Helping Animals, Yourself, or Blogging?
I am attempting to give my blog real purpose (a means to an end) that my writing and blogging actually result in animals at risk or already being harmed, not being hurt anymore. I also want people to know I do have a large variety of posts on my blog.
Some of the posts I write include Pet Tales, Vegetarian Recipes, Pet Care Tips, and Serious Topics such as Animal Abuse Issues. I also use pictures from other bloggers and Facebook Page followers. I post them in my posts called ‘Tuesday Tales.’
8. Do You Have Any Favorite Bloggers You Follow?
I enjoy different kinds of blogs, but I think my favorite blogs are when someone writes about their pet(s). I think it’s fun to see all those adorable pet photos and learn about various animals and their personalities. Oddly enough, I do not necessarily like to follow blogs that are about ‘animal activism.’ I applaud them but I find these blogs usually too graphic for me to handle.
9. Please Share With Us Some of Your Animal Related Blog Posts:
The post below was written when a young follower of mine contacted me to let me know she was inspired by my blog. She wrote a poem called “Animals Are Feeling beings Too” which she published on her blog.
I have been blogging (well…serious blogging) for a few months now. I have played around with my blog, changing & adding things like the “Tuesday Tales” where I share animal stories and “Sunday Pause (Paws)” where I encourage everyone to kick back & relax. On my “Vegetarian Challenge” page I try to add recipes every now & then. There hasn’t been an actual challenge yet, but maybe in the future. Also, I have been adding my favorite cruelty-free products to the “Links” page, adding some pictures of my cat, Cino and “Pet Care Tips.”
I will continue to add to these pages and keep a variety on my blog. But one thing that will not change is where my heart is, and that is helping the fight against animal cruelty.
This means some of my posts will not be so uplifting or fun. If I were to only do “happy” posts I wouldn’t be spreading the word about animal cruelty and therefore I wouldn’t be helping animals.
Something I saw on Facebook (or somewhere) not so long ago was this sentence, “The reason I dedicate myself to helping animals so much is because there are already so many people who dedicate their lives to hurting them.” Sadly, a true statement!
There are a lot of people who tell me they can’t stand to read or see anything about animal abuse because it bothers them too much. It bothers me A LOT too, but I can not turn my back on them. I want to encourage others not to either.
I recently have received a few great compliments from fellow bloggers about my blog. This makes me feel so warm & fuzzy. I also received a message from a young follower, named Leona, that said me and my blog inspire her, and that she wrote a poem and named it “Animals Are Feeling Beings Too.” I was overjoyed by this! It makes me think maybe I AM making an impact out there for the good of animals!
Thanks to LeeAnn for the lovely interview and sharing her passion for taking care of and helping animals at home and ones who are in need. Best of luck to her in her blog and spreading the word about animal empathy and the proper way to treat your pets and animals in general. Here is a Link To LeeAnn’s blog one last time: Animals Are Feeling Beings Too.
If you would like to share your blogging or writing in my biweekly interview series, please reach out to me through mycontact page on my blog. I will see you in two weeks!
Her clawed hands ran over her face and body as she touched the textures of fur, sinew, and teeth. Sensitive hearing caught the echoes of humans hiking near by and she salivated, while razor sharp fangs and her muscled wolf body prepared to gorge on throats.
The word suffer according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary means “to experience pain, illness, or injury; to experience something unpleasant (such as defeat loss or damage); to become worse because of being badly affected by something.” Through the suffering of my beloved pet Nikki I have learnt what it is to suffer. But let us not forget that the suffering of people in this world is far worse than the suffering of any animal but the endurance of suffering through our pets can also be quite damaging.
Since rheumatoid arthritis has shown it’s face it’s been an utterly intolerably cruel disease to Nikki. At first she could still walk but it was a very slow and paced walk. Then her muscle began to give way and her walking became rarer, became a loping, an utterly hard process to watch as she tried to stay off of her previously injured front right paw and make her way around the upstairs floor. She could no longer go to the basement or go outside in the back yard because there were to many stairs for her and she could hurt herself badly. Now Nikki, having lost almost all her strength has one good point around supper time in the day where she can maybe get up to just snag a little treat but mostly she just lies there. And I ache for her suffering because without pain killers her legs hurt. And it still hurts her to raise her body off the floor and if she stands she stands for but a moment before falling and she has learnt the correct way to fall as to not hurt herself more. Her body, her legs are giving out.
I sit with her at lunch. Where she used to come and beg, I go to her and give her a few scraps from lunch. I give her some vegetables and pieces of toast with peanut butter. It makes me feel better that she is eating something because I had to hand feed hera portion of herkibble this morning. Today I am trying to get her to drink but even putting a short little dish or water by her head
and holding her head to drink, she isn’t interested. The only time I can see she feels pleasure is when we feed her little scraps or pet her because she pants and smiles. Other than that, her tail is between her legs and she just lies around on the floor. She was a snuggly dog before and she can’t snuggle. So I pet her many times as I pass her by so she still feels the love. My Dad had to pick her up so she could go to the washroom the other day and she could go on her own once she was on the grass but I wonder how long that will last.
There is one more medication for us to try, while Nikki suffers and waits. I wait for the vet to call us with the price and medication. I wonder if she’ll last that long. I didn’t think arthritis would simply take her out. She is old (12 years) but not that old. Through Nikki I learn suffering. Years ago I learnt it through my Grandpa as he faded away but it is a different kind of suffering I learn to see an animal suffer, more like seeing a child suffer. Nikki is helpless to the suffering. And maybe some people can disassociate themselves away from their pets and think they’re just animals that’s what happens, the have short lives. But you see with any sickness, even with my own, you never see it coming. You never know how damaging it can be. So I learn suffering through my little dog as she lays expressionless on the floor and I wonder how long she’ll last? Will she get better or will she end her days on the floor, remembering legs that use to run and run and run.