Endlings takes us across continents and through the long expanse of aeons to give voice to the dead. In poems that are lyrical, exact, and deeply melancholic, Joanna Lilley demands audience for the final moments of animal extinction. From the zebra-horse quagga and chiding dodo, to the giant woolly mammoth and delicate Xerces Blue Butterfly, the haunting, urgent words of these "endlings" cut to the bone to expose the brutality of Nature and the devastating repercussions of human ignorance and intent, while giving hope that our humanity will help save what remains.
Joanna Lilley is an award-winning poet living in Whitehorse. Born in the UK, Joanna has always been drawn North, crossing the arctic circle twice in her lifetime, before settling in the Yukon. Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals, including The Malahat Review and Grain. If There Were Roads is her second collection of poetry.
There's a rumour about beauty,
its long whiskers and golden eyes,
its stripes as dark
as the moon shadows of trees.
There's a rumour that the forest
took the beauty,
that the people who took
the forest took the beauty.
The beauty's stripes tightened,
sliced right through--the people
said they had nothing to do with it.
The whiskers caught fire
and the golden eyes burned
We are so disconnected from nature we think it's the economy that makes our lifestyles and lives possible. In fact it's the complex web of nature within which we are inextricably linked and on which we are utterly dependent. When a species disappears, that complex web of life loses resilience and productivity. Endlings is a reminder of what we have lost within human memory. It's a frightening reminder that Nature is our Mother and source of life. --David Suzuki