by Richard Stevenson
Beached Beast of Bungalow Beach,
what rogue wave tossed you ashore?
Thirty-foot unknown whale
or last of the mosasaurs?
Who stuck you beneath the sea?
You could be a thawed specimen
from a melting iceberg. So fresh!
You’ve still got your gar-like grin
of eighty pointy white Pepsodent pearls.
Four flippers. Only one torn.
Yet your innards tumble like bunting onto the sand.
Small eyes stare vacantly at the strand,
all you have seen above high tide line.
Sorry to meet you so indisposed.
Not yet smelly or decomposed.
In the altogether in inclement weather
on this far Atlantic shore.
Hope you were a Mosasaur.
Yo, Gambo! Ain’t Italiano.
Ain’t got kipper breath. Bloat some though.
Po’ Gambo. Folks will sell your head. Grind your bones.
No one’s ever gonna know
who or what you were
from a boy’s crude drawing.
Bought the farm on a Gambian shore
not with a bang or a whimper,
just a saw-toothed grind
with the sandy Gambian shore
Winsome, gar-toothed Yorick grin
at a kid with pencil and paper.
No one took a bite of you.
No one gave us DNA to chew.
So yer famous, dude!
Yeah, you go, Gambo!
A cryptozoologist’s conundrum
on some forever summer beach
in Gambia, where you once gambolled
not so far off a gabbling gravel shore.
Unrecorded species of orangutan,
survivor from the Pleistocene perhaps,
a small man-size hominid in any case.
But not prone to violence or aggression —
at least not so much as homo sapiens,
its supposedly more civilized relation.
Swing from the trees, avoid humankind.
That’d probably be the best way to survive.
Avoid roll call for a while, if you can.
Xing Xing sing. Sing us a love song
of parental bliss and belonging.
No point in pelting us with dung.
We’ve become undone as a species as is.
Need to live and learn from you
how to survive ourselves as long as you have.
Xing Xing sing, and avoid Xing Xing crossings.
Go deeper into the jungle, avoid the bungle
that is humanity and our poisonous progress.
Ain’t nothin’ abominable
about these abdominals, Bob!
Ain’t saggy jus’ cos I’m shaggy.
Been huddlin’ and cuddlin’
snugglin’ and snoggin’
in caves up here for ages!
Long before toboggans
and snow shoes, nylon tents,
you hairless gorms arrived.
Got plenty of scoff too –
long as you like lichen,
goat, tubers, ptarmigan. and thyme.
We have no truck with yer kind.
We’ve seen what you do
with water, mountains, and trees.
Don’t care to be bagged and tagged.
Don’t need a cement high rise
with all the mod cons, Bob.
The air here is sweet
and conical noggins let water run off,
are good in a headwind too. You’ll see.
At three to five meters tall,
we scare you, sure. And, yeah,
we’ve savoured homo s stew –
when we had no tubers
or tenders to scarf; it’s true.
Still, we don’t go huntin’ yer lot.
Nerd alert! We’re praying now!
Sure, the instrumentation is primitive –
rhythm figures on a hollow log –
but saxophones don’t hold up
in the snow; nor do trumpets and trombones,
so the rest of us clap and chant.
What! You thought we were just
Clappin’ our sides to get warm?
Hey! Check out the fellow hominid gaze.
I ain’t intelligent? Athletic? Spiritual?
O.K. , it’s a monochrome biome
to you baldos, but I’m Alpha Yeti here!
Richard Stevenson has recently retired from a thirty-year teaching gig at Lethbridge College and published thirty books in that time, most recently, two collections of haikai poetry: Fruit Wedge Moon (Hidden Brook Press, 2015) and The Heiligen Effect (Ekstasis Editions, 2015). Since retirement, Rock, Scissors, Paper: The Clifford Olson Murders, a long poem sequence, has just been released from Dreaming Big Publications in the US, and A Gaggle of Geese, haikai poems and sequences, has just been released from Alba Publications in the UK.