The first of the wild animal poems is about a swamp. Swamps are exciting ecosystems all on their own -- with no need for human interaction. This poem is from my book, Great Lakes Rhythm & Rhyme. If you'd like to republish poems on this site in any form, please read our permissions page.
A swamp, a fen, a marsh, a bog;
they're all the same.
You trudge, you slog.
The ground is soft and wet and spongy.
Stay a while and you'll feel grungy.
Walk a little further yet.
Your feet sink in;
your legs are wet.
Stay long enough,
you very might
be getting a mosquito bite.
There's dogfish, cattails,
frogs and otters,
some turtles, beavers, in the water,
hawks and ducks and northern pike,
bald eagles, black birds --
much to like.
So grab your boots and come on in.
It's better if you do not swim,
but save the wetlands
marsh and bogs
for all the turtles
ducks and frogs.
By Denise Rodgers
The next poem is about the raccoon. My closest encounter with this animal took place several years ago, when I opened my front door. I saw three raccoons hanging onto my neighbor's tree trunk -- two on the right, and one on the left. It was adorable, but I was glad to be watching from a distance.
Raccoons are nocturnal, meaning that if I was about to get my morning paper and eat breakfast, those raccoons were probably getting ready to sleep. This poem is from my book, A Little Bit of Nonsense.
The raccoon's always ready for an undercover task.
And that should be quite evident; he always wears a mask.
Some work as detectives, secret agents, double spies.
Be wary of his messages; they often will be lies.
You will not see him often as he works by stealth at night.
He plies his trade beneath the moon and sleeps by morning light.
He's furtive, yet successful. He will very seldom fail,
this undercover mammal -- from his mask down to his tail.
by Denise Rodgers
The next poem is from the same book. It is (technically speaking, of course) a "funny" wild animal poem. Beavers are known for cutting woods with their teeth and building dams. This poem explores what might happen if a beaver had a dental problem.
I've never seen a sadder sight --
a beaver with an underbite.
His jaw was tight. His bite was blunt.
His lower teeth stuck out in front.
He could not do what beavers should.
His teeth just could not bite through wood.
He could not, even in a jam
help his family build a dam.
It seems that what he needs to face is
time in orthodontic braces.
The next animal poem is about an animal that is wild -- but not at all dangerous. The only thing that snails are known for (unless you eat them, which I don't!) is for being slow! That's why the title of the next poem is Snail Races. This poem is from my book, A Little Bit of Nonsense.
There never is a slower pace
than snails competing in a race.
On your mark, get set and go.
The one that's way ahead is slow.
The one that's far behind is slower.
Most snails are more stop than go-er.
Perhaps there are no slower tales
than races made up of such snails.
by Denise Rodgers
Why do I write wild animal poems? After all, I've lived in the greater metropolitan Detroit area my entire life, and I'm not much of a camper. Yet I feel connected to the wild animals in my neighborhood. In addition to the obvious squirrel (there are tribes of them in every color - red, gray and black), I often see rabbits, possums, chipmunks and the occasional raccoon. Oh, and that's not even counting the birds. I hope you enjoyed the wild animal poems on this page. If you would like to reprint or re-use any poem on this page or website, please see our permissions page.