Has Dinosaur Poetry Become Extinct?

Discussion in 'Tall Tales & Fabrications' started by Joe Riley, Jan 3, 2021.

  1. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Supreme Member
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    The Age of Dinosaurs
    By James Scruton
    There are, of course, theories
    about the wide-eyed, drop-jawed
    fascination children have for them,
    about how, before he's learned
    his own phone number or address,
    a five-year-old can carry
    like a few small stones
    the Latin tonnage of those names,
    the prefixes and preferences
    for leaf or meat.

    My son recites the syllables
    I stumble over now,
    sets up figures as I did
    years ago in his prehistory.
    Here is the green ski slope
    of a brontosaur's back,
    there a triceratops in full
    gladiator gear. From the arm
    of a chair a pterodactyl
    surveys the dark primeval carpet.

    Each has disappeared from time
    to time, excavated finally
    from beneath a cabinet
    or the sofa cushions, only
    to be buried again among its kind
    in the deep toy chest,
    the closed lid snug as earth.
    The next time they're brought out
    to roam the living room
    another bone's been found

    somewhere, a tooth or fragment
    of an eggshell dusted off,
    brushing away some long-held notion
    about their life-span
    or intelligence, warm blood
    or cold. On the floor
    they face off as if debating
    the latest find, what part
    of which one of them
    has been discovered this time.

    Or else they stand abreast
    in one long row, side
    by scaly side, waiting to fall
    like dominoes, my son's
    tossed tennis ball a neon yellow
    asteroid, his shadow a dark cloud
    when he stands, his fervor for them
    cooling so slowly he can't feel it—
    the speed of glaciers, maybe,
    how one age slides into the next.
     
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  2. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Supreme Member
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