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April is the Coolest Month – Just Poets Favorite Poem for April 6

As part of National Poetry Month, Just Poets members will share their favorite poems along with a brief note about why the poem is their favorite poem. Today’s poem is selected by Karla Linn Merrifield.


William Heyen

Gods of Vanished Species

At Kwik-Fill, I pump ferns and turtles into my tank.
They’ll ride here in my dark until they burn.
Millions of years later, now, our traffic
traverses ancient landscapes, zone by zone,

desert by forest by marsh by swamp until
we sleep. At night, like you, I almost remember
rib-like sprays of cat-tails, pterodactyl eyes of coal,
clouds of insects curving a moonlit shore.


Just Poets Member Statement:

William Heyen’s book, Pterodactyl Rose: Poems of Ecology, was revelatory.  It gave me permission to follow in this master poet’s footsteps to write poetry that speaks to environmentalist yearnings, impulses.

– Karla Linn Merrifield


“Gods of Vanished Species” appears in Pterodactyl Rose: Poems of Ecology, which is available by click here.



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