The pika climbs the snowless slopes in hope
of finding cooler climes. A tailless kin
to hares, he shelters under stones to cope
with rising temps within his furry skin.

The ball of fur appears to roll than hop.
From rock to rock, he gathers summer sedge
and dries his store of winter food atop
a stack of hay to give his life an edge.

At lower elevations, glaciers melt
and won’t return. Sierra summers grow.
At higher elevations, showers pelt
this chap. His drooping head awaits the snow.

When climate changes fail to chill the sky,
the sun’s increasing heat will kill this guy.


André Le Mont Wilson morphed into a poet, writer, songwriter, and storyteller soon after his parents, both poets, died in 2012 eleven weeks apart, bequeathing him hundreds of poems. He performs around the San Francisco Bay Area where he lives. His essays and poetry have appeared in The New Engagement, Haiku Anthology, Page & Spine, Changing Harm to Harmony, Wordgathering, and The Society of Classical Poets. 

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9 Responses

  1. Bud "Weasel" Rice

    The diction of Mr. Wilson’s sonnet seems to hop; I like it a lot. The picture is good. Everything is cleanly cut. The metre fits succinctly.The scientific tone educes a strong emotional punch from the powerful couplet, which is a neat, poetic coup d’ état. Although I have mentioned to the fine British sonneteer Mr. Whidden and others of my preference for no enjambment, for being too studied and too enclosed, it does not detract here for the clipped, Larkinesque language. And though I admire Hughes’ anthropomorphic poems more for their possibilities than what they do, I must admit I prefer Mr. Wilson’s more controlled handling of the material. I also very much like the keen, crisp imagery, as, for example, “The ball of fur [seems more] to roll than hop.” The alliteration too, though used throughout, is kept at a proper distance. Here, too, Mr. Wilson’s use of exact rhymes, in unique contexts, keeps them from weakening the work. Overall, I am frequently surprised at the seemingly random talent that pops up on the pages of SCP time and again—and which, it seems, may not be random after all.

    • Andre Le Mont Wilson

      Oh, thank you, Bud, for your review and compliments. I am honored.

  2. Leo Yankevich


    It’s a taken me a few readings, but I’ve come to like this poem very much. A sign of a good poem is that it begs to be re-read.

    • Andre Le Mont Wilson

      Thank you, Leo, for your compliment and readings. I, too, find that a good poem requires several readings to understand the poet’s intentions and appreciate the poet’s craft.

  3. David Watt

    Andre, the message in this poem is clear. The description achieves the right balance between presenting fact and the creation of endearing images. Well done!

    • Andre Le Mont Wilson

      Thanks, David, presenting facts need not be boring but creative and clear.

  4. David Hollywood

    As Mr. Yankevich states, this poem grows on you after more than one reading and stemming from that it becomes engaging in its subject matter. Thank you.

    • Andre Le Mont Wilson

      David, you’re welcome. I’m glad my poem engaged you.


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