Inspired by a visit to the Turner Gallery in Margate.

Image Credit: 
Public Domain

In 1844 the billionth human
Shot the last Great Auck
We bred so much faster
They lost their wings
Had no need of them
We learned to talk
And burn things
That’s evolution baby

We have had
An on/off relationship
With the non-sapiens
It’s complicated
A cupboard love
That dare not speak
Its name; only
Indiscreet gentlemen
Speak of their trophies
In polite company

We test them
Man’s best friend
Send them on quests
To prove their loyalty
Play dress up
Hang them for treason
Give giraffes
The king’s disease
Out of idle curiosity
The sensation of
The season

We make sacred
What we cannot eat
Grave goods, Bastet
The golden eye’d hare
Black cats and jackals
Glow in the dark
Scavenge what is left
Where the bones beget
Obsequies laid out
For the godbeasts
To feast upon
And carry to the next place

When we escape the museum
Other wisdom abounds
Surfing on beet juice
And hot spice
Approved by ayurvedic masters
Open sesame renegades
Shave fennel
Chop spelt and char quiche
Chai on the beach
Where animus realties meet

Fledgling gulls beg and bully
As we gleam
In their stone black eyes
Little shits in shades stamp
And assert their authority
A glee faced girl runs at them
Frozen as a princess
When they scatter at her feet
Bird and child assume their places
In the eternal food chain

The octopus will
Pick up stones, keepsakes
It plays, hanging deep
With pretty things we leave
See Spot run for the ball
We give them names
So they appear more like us
Anthropomorphic resonance
The bread, the bird, the gun
This way we educate the young
About the animus
Their place in
The heart of things

Medway Delta poet who comes to the Isle of the Dead to get some sun. Editor of Confluence, host of Roundabout Nights, writer of books.

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