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The World's Most Dangerous Bird

by Eamon O'Caoineachan 

The Cassowary is one of the world’s

most dangerous birds—casuarius


by name, wary of humans by nature—           

humans should be wary too—its dagger                 


like claw fatally kills, and its horned head               

chases and charges at you if you’re too close—                          


however, danger is only relative             

to human perception and understanding.      


Somewhere in our evolution there is                                       

shared ancestry between birdsong and speech—    


we too have our dagger-claws that we use                                                      

to protect our young and defend territory—


without us—they are shy, flightless birds,

solitary, eating fruit in the Queensland 


rain forest—the fruit fallen by the felled trees—                                                   

the world’s most dangerous bird is man.   

About the Author

Eamon O'Caoineachan is a poet, originally from Co. Donegal, Ireland, but living in Houston, Texas. His work is published in The Ekphrastic Review, Vita Brevis Press and The University of St. Thomas's literary magazines, Thoroughfare and Laurels. He is the recipient of The Robert Lee Frost-Vince D’Amico Poetry Award and the Rev. Edward A. Lee Endowed Scholarship in English at the University of St. Thomas, Houston. He is completing his MA in English and working on his first poetry collection.

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