Neoteny

Alas, I have been unable to uncover the artist of this painting

Neoteny

Axolotls, axolotls,
Uncorked from the strangest bottles –
Ask a little, ask a lottl,
I’ll explain it in a jottl.
Giant tadpoles, stubbly legs,
Who, not adult, can still lay eggs,
And having reproduced, each pup
Shall cease all thought of growing up.
Their smiley mouths and baby faces
Compensate for stymied stasis,
(Never coming out as planned,
And never walking on the land) –
They’re salamanders who meander
Never wanting to be grander.
While most life is lived full-throttle,
Time stands still for the axolotl –
For whether it is dumb or clever,
They make childhood last forever
They quite refuse to lose their frills
And put away their childish gills,
They keep a fin upon their back
And regrow any parts they lack –
They do not blink at staying kids
(Because they don’t develop lids).
Yet with a shot of iodine
They can achieve their tiger’d sheen,
They can equip with tooth and lung –
Yet living fast means dying young,
While staying in their pond long-term
Shall bring the everlasting worm.
So golden, pink, or brown-with-mottles,
Here’s to ageless axolotls !

This poem is my attempt to write a bit like Ogden Nash.

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