Thursday, December 26, 2019


Alien Botany
By John Grey

It is a zarkal-blossom afternoon.

A creature, the zextotl,
buzzes its way among fresh flowers,
is attracted to what the blooms attract.

It’s a whir of wings, a sudden dive at
the most sedate of nibblers, piercing
the victim’s carapace with a syringe-like lance.

It’s the time to fill the nest with stung corpses.

Bingles, tinier than itself, are easy targets.
The zextotl stabs and injects, piles up the victims,
bears them back to its home of spun paper, river mud.

Two Earthlings, leading botanists,
watch excitedly but cautiously,
snap photo after photo
of these purple beauties.

The zarkal is a thousand feet high.
The zextotl is the size of an average Earth rocket.
Even the bingle would outweigh an elephant.

Despite their degrees,
two Earthlings cannot be conceited long.

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John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in That, Dunes Review, Poetry East and North Dakota Quarterly with work upcoming in Qwerty, Thin Air, Dalhousie Review and failbetter.


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