In the title poem of Pterodactyl Rose, the speaker tells us that when he drives he peers into his rear-view mirror and imagines the air behind him filling with the bodies of those ancient creatures his internal combustion engine is burning. He says he is wild with prayer and longing, as we all are as we enter a 21st century that will probably determine whether mankind will have a long tenure on this planet or will be just another vanished species. In poem after poem here, William Heyen probes the roots of our unprecedented ecological crisis and carries us with him. His voice is the voice of his "Crickets": "� the ones that still / have their legs, keep scraping them together, / listen, maybe for the last time on earth, listen . . ."