Essence of the Beast

Animals relate to humankind—
When culture's contributions
No longer hold us rapt,
We turn to characters
From wood and sea and air.

Since they are bereft of speech,
They cannot lead us wrong
With deception or deceit.

Therefore they speak more clearly
To the trusting ear, and what
Such figures drawn from nature
Say to us, is meant to show
Our weakness and our strength.

©2016 Michael Fraley

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