Charming as a flophouse with a bathtub full of adders,
it flouts the laws of science, slickly climbing social ladders
by trickling antisocial thoughts like urinary bladders.
Its tongue’s a snaky shadow. A disruptive syncopation
of moves behind the scenes forecasts its leapfrog ambulation.
Its hunting cry a subtle, slimy, sly insinuation,
it’s scoped us out as birds to pluck, but first it plans to fatten us
on patter slathered lavishly with compliments gelatinous
and up to seven deadly sins to tempt the inner brat in us;
yet larger Egos love a Slink, and never feel alarm
till one has stabbed them in the back while walking arm in arm,
selling Brooklyn bridges while it’s buying them the farm.
Observe this early turtle, one of myriad
herbivores from the Cretaceous Period,
short on intellectual propensity,
since armor’s not his only form of density,
who doesn’t have a brain, but has a pair,
and isn’t very smart, but doesn’t care;
which seems a way of thinking that illumines,
given how much thinking does for humans.
A Joust of Narwhals
Little longer than its horn,
part cigar, part unicorn,
the narwhal frolics, disinclined
to use a sword to speak its mind.
Men have always found it odd
peace should flourish in a pod,
flummoxed that these placid creatures
won’t employ their martial features,
inciting fights on what their use is
amongst the apes on arctic cruises,
till decks are swarmed with skewered corpuses,
alarming the disarming porpoises.
Illustrations by Russ Spitkovsky courtesy of Ed Shacklee.