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I went to visit

my father but

he was asleep

the elephants will

never come over

my way excepting

the one under

the trellis I spy

behind an oriental spicebush

ten thousand lbs

the bigger

lion awake blinks

flies & sun & then

back down the chilean

flamingos take shade together

under tumbles of hydrangea

the bar headed goose

eats the lambs ear

alone the chance to be

a neurotic completist

crested pigeons on the

ground the walkway matches

their feathers

they will die

two yellow

budgerigars neck

on a branch

there is a totem

near the western

grey kangaroo

there is no dingo

the lack of a dingo

disturbs me

the eastern black


faces her ass

to the crowd her right

ear is chipped only

ostriches over

the fence in Africa

masai giraffe awaits

hair at the base of a balcony

for every trumpeter

swan a dozen ducks

in the water

until at once

they shore

the amur

tiger open maw

where they harbor

the harbor seal

grizzly bear behind

the waterfall

had a dream, claws

like cucumbers

the grizzly bear

beneath the waterfall

the red crowned crane

stabs to eat beneath

the clover how clever

beak as a cleaver barely

any red until he knows

better & the feed

box it is baby

sun bear bakes

in a basket amur

leopard akimbo paws

along the wall in cases

of rest the red

pandas prefer

two to a box

take in the takin

from behind the slated

wooden fence the andean

condor picks the bone

clean koalas in the crook

my movement

amongst the sugar

maples while climbing

the deck

northern tree

shrew along

the edge of his trash

pan golden-bellied

mangabey all fours across

the branch may tap on glass

as sign warns

though I may not

fossa fast


I am in the bush-

baby’s red night

where better to be

than in the cold shrew darkness

aye aye as a shadow

beneath his structures

but what I came

for luminescence

the aquatics where finding

& counting the stone fish

is a problem

please let me be

a bubble spanish hog

downward crook

spider monkey

handsome & limbed


Jon Conley (he/him) is a poet and musician from Cleveland. Find him online at and @beachstav.

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