Emu by Kathryn Knight

Emu Sketch by Kathryn Knight

The emu lives in wooded and open country, costal and inland, across Australia. It is the second largest bird in the world. Its ancestor, the Dromornithid, lived at the time of the dinosaurs. Originally three species of emu roamed the land, but only one survives today; the other two were hunted to extinction for their meat and feathers.

Dromaius novaehollandiae

there lies something of the dark ages in you.
through impediments where we stand your amber eyes
shift, stunningly round, under a severe black framing
of feathers.

tossed into this evolutionary era, you are still
wet, still panting with black beak frozen
in an eerie partial grin, like someone on the verge
of a death they can see.

gargoyle, griffin
estranged from your mythology

congruencies tie us, the awkwardness
found in running without lift, turning long necks round
to an age emptying its enchantment
the lady’s magic web, loosing its plait €”
to find you, me, full of such stuff.

now you kneel, backwards
on claws of a dragon, to drink
water that is just

we struggle to rise, lift
the weight of ancient things
no one can decipher, not even you, now
folding their spells beneath your feathers
becoming shadow.


kathrynknightKathryn Knight graduated from the University of Utah with a BS in Environmental Studies and a BA in English. She has published various poems in its undergraduate literary magazine Shades and exhibited oil paintings and photography in the annual Hammers Inc. Art Festival based in Salt Lake City. She is currently working on a Master of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning at Utah State University.