Pterosaurs weren’t dinosaurs – And so says Lukas, keen to crow. You know what, Lukas ? We already know. And neither were the mosasaurs, And ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs, Dimetridon or sarchosuchus – Come on, Lukas, don’t harp on so.
Sometimes, Lukas, we’ll play ball, Cos evolution’s cool and all – But we also need a name instead To call all things that’re scaly, big, and dead. We need a widely-recognised file, A catch-all term, a handy pile – But one that leaves out bird and crocodile.
With chapter, verse, and nomenclature ? Oh, don’t be such a whiny bore, By giving us a minus score In your self-waging, name-defining war – Lumbering and out-of-date, We’ve got your number, Lukas, mate – You’re such a dinosaur !
The English tongue is a toolkit To unlock those very English sounds In a well-oiled perfect fit. The Scots and Welsh have tongues that sit At a slightly diff’rent angle each So’s not to mangle all those subtle bits of brogue That abound within their speech. Americans are yet more rogue, Dismissing our metric metre For their own iambic feet and inches – They prefer their rhotic burr to ring, With a tongue that sounds the sweeter And a throat that swells and pinches Fine enough to let it sing. But none of we Anglophones are great At sounding French, or Japanese – We haven’t the tools we need for these. And that’s okay – we still can try, And even if we’re second-rate, There’s no need to be shy. The thing is, no two individual tongues Are contoured quite the same They vary how they’re ribbed and strung, And where they set their aim. So if we were to slur your foreign name next time we call, It’s just because our tongues are curled the other way, that’s all.
Insides on the outside. I was always told That they’re rigid suits of armour That cannot stretch or fold – Usually, the process is To shed, and swell, and harden – And that’s their lot, till next they moult – No piling all the lard on ! But the sloughing of the shell enables Fixing dings and missing limbs – And that’s why adult lobsters Keep on shrugging off their skins. They don’t increase that much in size, But do perform repairs – Though there is danger here as well, When things go wrong downstairs – Not to mention getting trapped half-way, Their robes un-doffed, Or creeping-in mutations, Or if gobbled-up when shedder-soft. So long-lived lobsters in the end Just wear the same old clothes, And adult insects die before The wear-and-tearing shows –
And mostly this is true – But creatures are a funny lot, And odd ones swarm into the mind Like ants around a honeypot. To pluck out one example, Just ask a termite queen Why her bum looks big it that While her subjects are so lean ? And she’ll reply, “My abdomen was once a slender thing, But see how it slowly stretches year-by-year, And king-by-king. And though I’m decades-old And my body marked with time, I’m very well-attended To keep me in my prime – I since I lie about all day, What need I beauty for ? Or even care for working legs Which barely reach the floor ? The changing fashions of the young are not for me, My togs are fine – I take-in food and pop-out eggs In this old skin of mine.”
Facial hair is not for me, It’s written in my genes – And no amount of herbal tea Or eating up my greens Can furnish on my chinny-chin A burst of bushy thatch, But just the look of unwashed skin For itchy nails to scratch. You may think me unmanly And my smooth-cheek a disgrace, But then, not just the dandy Has to sport a spotless face. I guess I’ll never put to sea, Or be a hermit, blind – The hussar’s life is not for me, Nor evil mastermind.
I cannot dance to seven-four, It always sound so incomplete – The lines are rushing, overkeen, They jump the gun, they crash the scene. It’s never seven-to-the-floor That jolts me up out of my seat – We talk in trochees, think in rhyme, We walk and breathe in common time.
Heartbeats are waltzes, though – Three-four and quick-quick-slow, Atrium, ventricle, In-out-rest metrical, Pulse and diastole, ONE two (three) ONE two (three)…
I cannot dance to seven-four, I nod along, but off the beat – It may be close enough for jazz, But lacking somehow in pizzazz – For music isn’t just the score, We have to feel it in our feet – And I have two, not one or three, So what use surplus notes to me ?
My hips ain’t sound technicians, My feet ain’t math’maticians, So they’re losing their positions, When the bar keeps on clipping, When the beat keeps on slipping, Till my sole fills the hole With the wrong sort of tripping.
I cannot dance to seven-four, I don’t possess such odd-timed feet, I’m not a pro, I’m just a guy Who wants to groove, not reason why – And dancing shouldn’t be a chore, I shouldn’t have to count the beat, So call me boring, call me white, But four-four lets me dance all night.
Toothy-mawed pteranodon, A stegosaur who drags its tail, Old T-Rex with no feathers on, Dimetrodon with a humpy sail – However much they’re wrong, At least they never hem or hedge – They’re always big and bold and cutting edge !
Pity the paleo-artists Who bring these skeletons to life, Who are the public midwife To a thousand playground dreams – No sooner have they started, When a fossil or a paper Is transforming facts to vapour And is picking at the seams.
One day, in a century, They’ll laugh at our sauropods For not swimming in the sea – No wonder how they look so odd… No matter how carefully We draw iguanodon his thumb, We are the Crystal Palace beasts to come.
Pity the paleo-artists, Their work is only for today – For if they don’t give way, Then their errors just persist. But don’t be brash or heartless – Their legacy is in the seeds That captures, stimulates, and feeds Each future dino-tologist.
Never drop your tardigrade in alcohol or acid, when It isn’t curled-up tightly like a bun. Never dehydrate it, or stop its oxygen, Until all of its shrivelling is done. Never heat your tardigrade a hundred-plus degrees, Or blast it with a gamma ray, or leave it out to freeze, Or send it into space, or in a pressure fit to squeeze – Unless it is a hibernating tun. If it’s slowly, slowly moving, Best to leave it be – For now is not the time for proving Indestructibility. For a tardy’s only hardy When its legs no longer run… But if it’s small and in a ball ? Then sure, go have some fun.
A running bump along my arm Is memory that I was scarred – The grave to mark a childhood tear That now you’d scarcely know was there. I got it playing down the farm, Or maybe tripping in the yard – I must have hit the surface hard, But in the end did no real harm. A trophy I must always wear, A lesson learned, a minor scare – I smile to think how I am marred, And like to stroke it sometimes, like a charm.
It sits beside my first tattoo, That’s self-administered, indeed – A careless stab with ball-point pen, A funny-coloured freckle, then. It used to be a deeper blue, As if I’m of a noble breed – It must have hurt, but didn’t bleed, And now just sits there, still in view. I could not even tell you when, But certainly by age of ten. It can’t be scrubbed, it can’t be freed – I like to poke it sometimes, as y’do.
Hey, have you seen this ? Chillis give us allergies !, I watched it on The One Show and I read it in The Mail. Never mind the experts – they claim our claims are fallacies, Yet we know how we feel – and we’re feeling rather frail.
Hey, have you caught this ? Cucumbers cause impotence !, I found it on the internet – it’s all there if you dig. So much for ‘mostly water’ ! That’s Big Salad’s influence, They pump them full of chemicals – that’s how they grow so big !
Hey, have you scoped this ? Sweetcorn gives us cancer ! I heard it at a coffee-shop, and in a waiting room. So sure, go ahead, if you want to be a chancer, But know I told you so when those yellow lumps bring doom.
Hey, have you shared this, at Waitrose or Pilates? Let’s spread the word and spread the fad, and let our bodies heal. Let’s get some trendy diets at the nation’s dinner parties, Then maybe I won’t have to taste those bastards ev’ry meal !