Poetry. Three Resurrections, by Gordon Meade. Image: Three silhouettes of a mammoth, a wolf and a goat.

three Resurrections


On the 6th of January, in the year 2000,

a goat, perhaps not the greatest goat of all

time but, nevertheless, the last of her

species, a bucardo, passed away when

a tree fell on her in the Spanish Pyrenees.

Luckily, or unluckily, as it turned out

for her, a team of scientists, perhaps

an early version of The Resurrectionists,

had already taken samples of her DNA,

and set about trying to bring her back

from the dead. In the end, they did manage

to do what it was that they set out to do,

if only for a few minutes. There was

something wrong with the newborn kid’s

deformed lungs and, after ten minutes

or so, the bucardo was extinct, again.

                                 Dire Wolf

My ancestral DNA was extracted from the marrow

of a thigh bone from a Grey found in a cave in Spain.

More was taken from the veins of one of the few living

Timbers trying to remain hidden in the dwindling forests

of Wisconsin. Both strains were then implanted into

the womb of an Arctic housed in a zoo in Tucson, Arizona.

The first attempts came to nothing. Well, not nothing, a couple

of miscarriages suffered by the reluctant host. Third time

lucky, a cub was born, and one that managed to survive.

The Resurrectionists fastened a collar round his neck so that

they could monitor his movements, which they did, until he was

twelve, when he died, a relatively good innings for a wolf in the wild.

But it was the nature of his howls that sent a shiver

down The Resurrectionists’ spines. They had never, throughout

their entire lives, heard anything so mournful, so melancholic,

neither from a human, nor from a more-than-human kind.


I think, if I am not mistaken, that you took

a few strands, or is it spirals, of my DNA from

the tusk of a well-preserved corpse in the Siberian

Tundra. Then, you mixed them up, or is it

entangled them, with those of an Indian

elephant. Implanted in another elephant’s

womb, we both waited until it was time for me

to come. When I did, it was, to begin with,

nothing more or less than a miracle; a hirsute

female calf, the spitting image of those you had

seen daubed on the cave walls at Lascaux. In time,

unfortunately, my hair began to fall out –

too much elephant, I guess, and not enough

mammoth. In the end, I didn’t survive that long

and, anyway, by the time I was an adolescent, I was

already completely bald and totally grey.

gordon meade

Gordon Meade is a Scottish poet based in the East Neuk of Fife. He was the Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at the University of Dundee.


He has published
twelve collections of poems, including most recently EX-Posed: Animal Elegies (Lantern Publishing and Media, New York, 2023).

The Resurrectionists, from which these three poems are taken, will be a collection of poems which will attempt to explore the ethical issues surrounding De-extinction from the perspective of a number of more-than-human animals

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