Brass Neck

An amended image from the original computer modelling by Darren Naish & Donald Henderson.

Brass Neck

All mammals can swim,
Or least, can float,
Just paddle each limb
And be the boat.
It may be slow,
And lacking grace,
But it lets them row
To a dryer place.

Even the elephant,
Hedgehog, or bat,
Even the fattest
Or scardiest cat,
Even the kangaroo,
Aardvaark, or aye-aye –
You know why it’s true ?
Cos they’re mammals, that’s why !

All, that is, except for one –
The landlubber giraffe.
Once evolution had its fun,
They’re not safe in the bath.
It’s strange the way that they capsize,
You’d think they’d learn to cope
When possessed of long and mighty thighs,
And a built-in periscope.

But on the land
They look such gentry,
Tall and grand
When standing sentry.
They are the backlash
To the trout,
Who make a splash
By standing out.

Red-Herring Gulls

Parking ticket winging its way to Mr C. Gull by Craig A Rodway

Red-Herring Gulls

The sudden shriek of a seagull
Takes me back to the ozone, back to the seaside –
To those Summers of sand and Ninety-Nines,
Where the fish is fresh and the Sun still shines.
From ever since I was knee-high,
Be it Bournemouth, Paignton or Ryde.
The seagulls were my holiday guide.

But these days, the seagulls are ev’rywhere,
Yes, even in Winter, even in the bleak –
When gloomy days in gloomy suburbs
See dozens pecking kebabs from the kerbs,
With ev’ry beak in a mocking shriek.
Well, go ahead, gulls – for a second there
I was back on the prom without a care.

Untouchables

Photo by Frans van Heerden on Pexels.com

Untouchables

Ev’ryone hates vultures,
Those ugly hulking things –
Bald-headed, blood-stained,
With undertakers’ wings.

Ev’ryone hates vultures,
Circling overhead –
Never flapping, always patient,
Preying on the dead –

Ev’ryone hates vultures,
With necks so long and kinked –
And thanks to us, the good news is
They’ll soon become extinct.

Ev’ryone hates pathogens,
And keeps their quarters fresh.
But once we’ve killed the vultures,
Who’ll clean-up their rotting flesh…?

Technovine

Do Androiods Dream of Electric Sheep by Cooper Hill

Technovine

When I first heard of what made androids dream,
I wanted to know much more –
Like where are the hordes of electric sheep
All under the crook of a cyber-Beau Peep ?
Yet ev’ry pasture dotted with white may teem
With robotic ewes by the score,
And so well made are these flocks of steel,
They bleat and follow just like real…
Do their eyeball glow with a laser beam
That the ravens quake before ?
Are their horns antennas, warning of fox ?
Does their wool discharge with electric shocks ?
I swear these sheep aren’t all they seem,
It’s folly to just ignore…
For the folds are filling with a new kind of lamb,
A bellwether seeking to upgrade their ram.

Fowl

The Flying Chicken by ARTCELO

Fowl

Chickens can fly, if they want to,
Turkeys too,
Though they rarely do.
Peacocks can manage the haul,
Tails and all,
When they need to shoo.
So don’t let anyone tell you
That they’re grounded – he hasn’t a clue.
They may be lazy, yes,
And yet these flightless always flew.

Carapace Steeplechase

Carapace Steeplechase

The pangolin and the armadillo
Are worthy mounts for a knight,
Though they only ever battle ants,
And their snouts are lacking a bite.

With a pingo-pongo-pangolino,
Clanking, swanking, tank–bambino –
Overcoat from head to toe –
Hi-ho for a skin of nails !

They’re faster than the tortoises,
And faster than the snails –
With scutes from shoulder-blades to boots,
In a bodysuit of scales.

But the armadillo and the pangolin
Are secret devils for a thrill –
They curl-up in their tightest balls
And roll full-tilt downhill.

With an armadilla-dilla-dilly-day-oh,
With a three-band-six-band-nine-band-go,
In a concertina rodeo –
Hi-ho for the bonded mail !

They’re tougher than the rhino,
And they’re tougher than the whale –
With clout – from a stainless-steel snout
To a tinplate-tempered tail.

Pangolin by Adam Tusk

Nest

Photo by Evelyn Chong on Pexels.com

Nest

Home is where the twigs are,
Where the scraps are woven into walls –
From muddy flops to treetop digs,
The nesting instinct calls.

Home is where the eggs are
Where the young are building into birds –
Until it’s time to stretch the legs
And join the roaming herds.

Batteries

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Batteries

The old railway tunnel is gated now,
The trains haven’t run for years.
The bells never chime in the minster tower,
The saints needn’t cover their ears.
The caves are abandoned by hominids,
And the pillboxes carry no guns.
Besides from tramps and adventurous kids,
Then the bats are the only ones.

Roofkeepers

Paisley Abbey Gargoyle 10 taken by User:Colin, showing the work of sculptor David Lindsay, itself inspired by the work of Hans Giger.

Roofkeepers

The gargoyles are guarding the peregrines’ nests,
In their makeshift high-rise habitats.
They gurgles-down the gutters near their new houseguests,
As they keep the drainpipes clean, and they trap the thieving rats.
They shelter the chicks when the North wind blows,
Inbetween the buttresses the parapets.
They lure-in the pigeons, they ward-off the crows,
And they scare-back the devils with their gruesome silhouettes.

Vermification

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels.com

Vermification

Things keep turning into worms, it would seem,
And not just invertebrates
Exhibiting a certain trait
For straightness in the beam
And legless in the gait.

Things keep sausage-ing to worms, we observe –
The eel and caecilian
Are bound by their criterion
To maximise the curve,
Like the tongue of the chameleon.

Things keep slithering to worms, to and fro –
As through the soil they swim,
The burrowers who drop a limb.
The slowworm may be slow,
But he’s wonderfully slim.

Things keep developing newer way to squirm –
From the lowly and unsung
To the feared and cursed who creep among –
For snakes are just a worm
With a backbone and a tongue.