Non-ants and animal whimdom
Barry Gittins |
23 July 2017
ants don’t sleep
oolong teas steep
and we observe
ignorance hits curve
art shows verve
and we obsess
and we object
and we obdure
classes with fixed view
certainties de jour
pick your own führer
leave cultures to rue
as non-ants sleep
Flighty as a songbird, a starling, crow or eagle,
oniscine, sturnine, corvine or aquiline;
dogged as a wolf, a fox or a beagle,
lupine, vulpine or plain old canine;
homo sapiens come in all shapes and sizes –
their manner, parts, in sum, bearing no great surprises.
Haughty as a peacock, or expectorating camel
pavonine and cameline, that one or two-humped mammal;
proud as kingly lion, or she-bear mid-rampage,
leonine and ursine, or timid sheep
and grouse ovine and tetraonine.
Humans slake their thirsts like the deer cervine
and cow bovine, enjoying o’er-heaped desserts
like the sow porcine and goose anserine.
Quick as wasp or mongoose, vespine or herpestine.
Deadly as snake or panther, anguine or big arse feline.
You’ll meet a liquid woman, swim past an aquatic man
whose languid depths and epiphets suggest a timeless span.
Like carp and teeming fish, cyprine and piscine
they’ll descend with dexterous swish to shoals you can’t divine.
They’re preyed upon by folks who’ll swoop on them like fowl –
gull laridine, duck anatine; exponents of the Dão.
And then there are iconoclasts, like ostrich and kangaroo
struthionine and macropine – try guessing where and what they’ll do.
Fight or flight as they re-make the world or their worldview;
like hare leporine or horse equine their speed can rescue or undo
if predators should chart their course and catch them in a jagged turn.
Humans may present remorse but watch and see if they will spurn
the chance for self-promotion or advancement of their cause.
A’feared of animal savagery wild? Fey humans exceed their roars.
Barry Gittins is a communication and research consultant for the Salvation Army who has written fo Inside History, Crosslight, The Transit Lounge, Changing Attitude Australia and The Rubicon.
Comments should be short, respectful and on topic. Email is requested for identification purposes only.
24 July 2017
There's lots of words in Animal whimdom I'll have to find out about. Wonderful poem, thank you. D H Lawrence's "Birds, Beasts and Flowers" is considered by many to be his best poetry.
25 July 2017
Made my day. Thanks.
Haley Joray Arnold and Cassandra Golds | 01 August 2017
You used to have feet like a Russian ballerina/Arches (like ones plebeians would stand under, lose their breath for a moment)/The weight they carry remarkable for the/Tiny bones inside ... Despair stalks the house/Outside, like weather/Inside, like air/It has no form ...
John Ellison Davies | 02 August 2017
Why do we get out of bed in the morning? Out of habit certainly, but at some level we have to believe that in the day ahead we may make some small incremental progress toward our goals, whatever they may be. A small improvement in the garden. The flourish of a job well done. We must have hope that we will find some joy in the day, some satisfaction that brings a sense of well-being.
Chris Jackson | 17 July 2017
I am, of course, a spider: my obstinacy, a viola; my gossamer back-and-forthing, woven ruminations of a violin. Watch me, busy always to continue a spider's life. All things love the little kingdom they inherit. This is home, intricate with fetched fidget, this scratchy bow-flight is a busy cello urging me to tracery, all tossed about in winds of orchestra.
Daniel Rose | 30 July 2017
I read the obituaries every Sunday. Maybe as a writer I enjoy the stories people leave behind. I think too, that in this age of fake news, angry politics and incessant streams of information, the obits offer a slice of realism. One small headshot and a two inch long bio. That is all that remains of us in the end. You might think that perusing the obituaries would be depressing. But for me, it's invigorating. It's energising. It renews my faith in humanity.
Victor Ugwu, E. Unimke Ugbong, William Okello Kadima | 10 July 2017
We remember that sad morning, when the bombs exploded, when the cold air, suddenly became too hot, when the flock became wild, how they ran into the wild. look! see! The vineyard is still on fire! look! see! The market stalls is still on fire! We slowly limped, towards the west we head, to where the air is still cold, to where the field is still green, towards the West, to where came the bombs, we head.