The otters did not learn
How to build the dam the beavers built,
Yet otters and beavers were often lumped together.
The wren did not learn
How she could be a bigger bird,
Yet the people made no distinction whatsoever
Between one songbird and another,
Tiny birds or pheasant-sized;
All of them were lumped into one pot:
One pot for cooking, or recording
On old-fashioned tape recorders,
Whether the song was a tuneful one or not.
If I take an animal form
I know that they will take for granted
Everything that most expresses me.
They will not heed my contributions;
Will not deem that my advice
Is something to be taken seriously.
So I stand in the farmyard lane,
Where meet the feudal world of fields
And modern days of information trails.
I’ll have to look more like a scarecrow:
Frighten miscreants into sense
Before they die, and blame me for their fails.