Friday, January 6, 2012

I Am a Reptile

asks us to consider our 'animal' natures


Under our garden shed
A blue-tongued lizard dwells,
A creature which attracts us
At the same time it repels.
A lizard is like a dinosaur
But completely shrunk in size;
A blue-tongue in a garden
Is considered quite a prize.
Our blue-tongue's called Charlie;
He's one of the family;
He pops his head out for a snack
When we're having afternoon tea.

Now Charlie and I are related,
For, in my head remains
The vestiges of the dinosaurs!
We all have reptilian brains!
These brains control our heart-beats
And other basic actions;
But reptilian brains can't deal with things
Like poetry and fractions!
The basic emotions of hate and lust 
Are buried in this brain;
Along with other other instincts,
Such as the flight from pain.
So, when you're feeling angry
And your blood is boiling hot
You are reverting to a reptile,
Like it or like it not!
So, when I'm being 'unreasonable'
And, maybe, picking a fight,
The ancient brain of a reptile
Is neither sorry nor contrite.

(A touch of the Edgar Allan Poes, inspired by the above pictorial prompt!)

Oh, but her eyes were lovely! That glorious emerald green
Represented in poetry, but rarely, if ever, seen.
It was her eyes that attracted me, all those years ago,
But love has a way of dying, if we do not will it to grow!
Those first years were so delicious; we walked on a wave of bliss,
And all we ever seemed to do was gaze at each other and kiss.
But the years were not kind to our loving for she began to carp;
And my voice, when I responded, was brusque and hard and sharp.
Her habits became annoying; she accused me of neglect;
Our childless marriage, such as it was, was ultimately wrecked....
Wrecked by the wanton destruction of every previous hope;
Both of us decided that we could no longer cope.
The day we decided to divorce was the day she was diagnosed!
A door that had opened briefly, was now, forever, closed.
So I became the carer; I simply had no choice.
Within me was a silent scream, a scream without a voice!
As time went on she faded, and I could not disguise
The fact that all that remained of her was her glorious emerald eyes!
She followed me round the room with them, as though to settle a score,
Reminding me, oh so painfully, of the passion of years before.
The years went by and she worsened, but so, indeed, did I;
I was old before my time and everyone wondered why.
She sat in her wheelchair, daily, dominating the scene,
And I read helpless malevolence in those eyes of emerald green.
Then came the night of the great flood; the water rose and rose!
I did what I could to help her, I battled, heaven knows!
But, in the end, it was hopeless; I had to swim away
And her words, as I left her, sitting there, I remember to this day.
She said, in a terrified whisper 'You'll never, never be free!
Always, always, somewhere, you'll be reminded of me'
I swam on and on without looking back, but I saw her in my mind,
Gazing after me with those eyes, the eyes I had left behind.
Her's was one of the bodies they found when the floods went down,
I went to the mass funeral they held for them in town.
And everyone understood that I had done the best I could;
As for me, I was acting; underneath I felt so good.
I wandered down to the river when the funeral was through,
Bracing myself to face a future frightening, but new.
Debris from the flood was floating near the river bank;
What was that, a log of wood or a piece of rotten plank?
Maybe it was some rubbish, a party favour, no more;
Some little twisted nick-nack, by which one would set no store.
But as I saw that emerald eye I recalled what she'd said to me;
Her final words, etched into my brain,'You'll never, never be free!


Doctor FTSE said...

Love it! And neurologically exact. We're all capable of turning into snakes-in-the-grass.

Kerry O'Connor said...

The ancient brain of a reptile
Is neither sorry nor contrite...

Everything about this poem is polished. Your structure is impeccable and such a clever build up to the punch-line.

Mama Zen said...

Marvelous take on Fireblossom's prompt!

Kat said...

Sigh... when we are normal, probably we go the "APE" route :-)))

hedgewitch said...

I think that reptilian inner nugget explains a lot of our stunning contradictions as a species. Enjoyed the fluid progression of this, very smooth and nicely structured.

vivinfrance said...

I reckon there's a bit of the dinosaur in all of uis. Goog 'un,.

I'll read the long one later - I have to get bread out of t'oven and go to the shops before they close.

Mary Mansfield said...

Wow, two very good poems here. Really liked that second one, can show the chilling consequences of our actions and thoughts.

Kay L. Davies said...

Wonderful as always, Brenda, both of them.

Fireblossom said...

I love the actions/fractions rhyme. Now I know where to shift the blame when I am being impossible!

Susie Clevenger said...

What a great work from Fireblossom's prompt..o, when you're feeling angry
And your blood is boiling hot
You are reverting to a reptile,
Like it or like it not! I love this. I shall just tell my husband I cannot help it when I "strike" :)

Anonymous said...

i like how you explain the ancient brain of a reptile being an explanation for your behavior