Saturday, 1 September 2007

Safari Park poem

The bears with humps of fur on their backs,
and canny, doggish faces peering
from the hoodies of their own bulk.

The thalidomide penguins.
The hippos flattening their fat
to beds of grey pondlily.

The earthenware rhino that could
have stood artist's model to Durer,
folded plates of skin, tentacular upper lip.

The elephant, trunk down, five-legged,
ears like gill flaps
an arse like baggy grey jodhpurs.

Peacocks with tail-feather eyes, like
no other kind of eye in nature
for size, or colour, or lidlessness, or shape.

Half-size fibre-glass models of lions
in the savanna would express a similar
ratio of unreality to the real

as these live animals in these false paddocks.

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