This poem won a contest and was published in BLUELINE,  the Adirondack literary journal published by The State university of New York at Plattsburg. I’ve seen a few of these guys near our house in the mountains, They have no fear of humans or of anything else, as far as i can tell. They are truly the Joe Cool of the forest.

If read aloud with enthusiasm and a hint of reverence, as it’s meant to be, It’s a favorite at readings.

 

ODE TO THE PORCUPINE

 

oh, the

equanimity of you

muted toned

sharp dressing

Joe Cool of the forest

at high noon

you amble

down the middle

of the road

humming a tune

you do not lie in wait

you just lie

there is no hunt

you just help yourself

the forest

is what you eat

the leaves and twigs around you

your bounty

nurtured as an only child

carefree

not so much fearless

as oblivious

you bother no creature

love is courtly

your mate must roll over

offering

her sweetest parts

so that you may

tenderly

carefully

oblige

you are at peace

attacked

you draw

a thousand swords.

                                                                                                Peter Obourn

photo from Pinterest