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Long Pets Poems | Long Pets Poetry

Long Pets Poems. Below are the most popular long Pets by PoetrySoup Members. You can search for long Pets poems by poem length and keyword.

See also: Famous Long Poems

Long Poems
Long poem by Bob Quigley | Details |


He stood and aimlessly watched the parade of patrons and volunteers that wandered daily past his kennel.  All so familiar, so ordinary.  Just like every other day he mused.  Nothing new.  Nothing special.

Moving to the small crumpled blanket near the back of his cage, he turned several times and finally curled up, head on his paws, positioned so that he could watch the activity around him.  But in reality, he was bored.  It had been a long time since he had met each morning with anticipation.  Too many days.   Too much disappointment.  He would leave all that barking and racing to the front of  their cage to the younger pups who hadn’t figured out yet that the cute ones went first.  It didn’t really make any difference what you did to attract attention if you weren’t young or cute, or both.

Too much time had gone by to participate in the charade.  In reality, Walter had seen a lot of people that he would rather not spend a lot of time with.  You know the type.  Kind of hyper, bouncing from stray to stray, looking for a perfect dog.  Kids poking their fingers  through the kennel screen or banging on it.  Some even making barking sounds.  He didn’t need any of that and was glad when they were gone.

Walter was very picky.  Set in his ways after so many years.  He had had it good for  a long time.  An only dog in a household of two people that let him be himself.  No tricks. No stunts.  Just long naps and daily walks.  A yard to himself to reflect on what was for dinner.  He had been fond of his doggy bed in their bedroom.  Each night he would help his owner walk through the house turning off the lights and checking the doors before they climbed the stairs together.  And there was always one last good night pat before settling down.

But those days were gone now.  First one had become ill and went to the hospital and never came back.  The other one changed overnight, spending long days, sitting mostly.  The walks became less frequent.  Walter did what he could.   He could see it in their eyes that they were hurting from their loss. He would make a point of laying his head in their lap, trying to let them know that he missed them too.  At times like this, he instinctively knew that although it remained unsaid, they only had each other.

He remembers well the day that his owner snapped a leash on him and said, “well Walter, I’m afraid we have to say goodbye.  I have to go to a place where they won’t let me keep you, so I am going to have to let you go.”  Walter could see the tears in his eyes.  He knew it would do him no good to whine or resist.  It was obvious there were no alternatives.  And besides, it would just make it harder on his owner.  But he was going to miss him.  It was not going to be easy to adjust.

But adjust he did.   He had been here a long time now and had seen countless pups and dogs  trot past his cage with light hearts and  new owners, heading off with new found hopes and expectations.  But it soon became obvious that there weren’t a lot of people that wanted an old yellow hound.  Everyone wanted the young ones.  So here he lay, dozing a bit, but still keeping an eye on those walking by, many giving him but a glance before moving on.

He heard them before the saw them.  ”Honey” the voice said.  ”That looks like Walter, old Mr. Whitney’s dog.”  Walters ears perked up a little.  ”Do I know them” he thought.  ”They seem to know me”.  I’d better go take a closer look” and with that, he stood and slowly ambled toward his kennel gate, giving a cautious wag of his tail.

“It is him” the man said.  ”Walter, how you doing boy?  Do you remember me?”

And upon closer inspection, Walter did remember him.  He used to live right across the street.  He would see him in his yard and if Walter were to ramble over, he usually had a dog treat in his pocket.  With the recognition, Walter gave a little stronger wag and moved toward the fingers extended through the fencing.  It was good to see an old friend.

“What do you say hon” the man said.  ”How would you feel about bringing Walter home with us?”

Walter looked at the woman and saw her nod in agreement.  ”You wait here and I’ll go find a volunteer.”

The man bent down and said “What do you think Walter?  Would you like to go home with us?”

Actually, Walter decided, he could think of nothing he would like more.  A chance to go back to the old neighborhood with people he already knew.  What was there not to like.

Soon the woman returned and the gate opened.  A leash was snapped on Walter and together they proceeded past the rows of dogs and puppies, all vying for their attention.  Walter couldn't help but stand a little straighter, stepping a little more lightly, showing off.  ”This is what going home looks like guys.” he thought.  ”Good luck and goodbye”.

As they neared the car the man said “I can’t believe we found you Walter.  There is someone I am going to take you to see.  I can’t wait to see the expression on his face when you walk in his room>”

Walter, of course, knew exactly who he was talking about.  And he couldn't wait to see the expression on his face either.

Copyright © Bob Quigley

Long poem by John Posey | Details |


(Circa 1910) Grandpa had a bulldog whose name was Tige. They were close – as close as honey and bees. If Grandpa felt a cold comin’ on – Well Ol’ Tige was the one who would sneeze Grandpa was noted for his wealth and generosity. His love for me was demonstrated when he paid my college fees. The love he held for Tige was almost the same for me. And ol’ Tige was always with Grandpa wherever he might be. College life was different then, separation was the norm. And years at Alma Mater meant years far from the farm. Students have it difficult and allowances soon shrink So, short of money there, I soon began to think. Grandpa, bless his giving heart, quickly came to mind That bulldog owned his generous heart – if somehow I could find Some way to convince my grandpa to increase the money sent -- I came upon a devious plan – and this is how it went. I wrote and told my grandpa, “There’s things you ought to know. The things they’re doin’ here at school will set your heart aglow.” “They’re takin’ all these sorts of dogs – it came as quite a shock Grandpa, you won’t believe me, they’re teachin’ dogs to talk.” Now grandpa loved ol’ Tige so much it didn’t take him long To ask how much would it take to send ol’ Tige along? Well, when I gave a figure, Grandpa was satisfied If this crazy scheme was figured out, there’s no place I could hide. I kept feeding grandpa all sorts of good reports How Tige was a star pupil and mascot of all sports Two years passed and soon there came the time to take Tige home Grandpa was so excited -- Tige was never more to roam. Grandpa came runnin’ when I stepped down off the train. His eager eyes were searching for what he’d never see again. “Where’s ol’ Tige?” he asked, as we began to walk. “He’s not comin’.” I replied, “C’mon we need to talk.” This morning I was shaving in the bathroom by the sink And Tige was justa talkin’ when he looked at me and winked. “Ya know’ he said, “I’ll be so glad to be back home at last.” There are some things I’ve thought about that went on in the past.” “I was standin’ at the mirror with my razor in my hand Ol’ Tige was talkin’ ‘bout some things he couldn’t understand. I could not believe the lies he told – things he’d seen first hand Like the times he saw you wrestlin’ with that female hired hand.” His words just lit a fire with the pictures that he painted I almost couldn’t help myself – Grandpa, I nearly fainted. It seems that I lost it some and when I finally woke, I’d grabbed him by the backa his neck and cut his lyin’ throat. I know grandpa was shaken, I saw it in his eyes. A look of consternation he could not disguise He seemed to be relieved, as he looked at me and said, “Now, Son, I really need to know, are you sure ol’ Tige is dead?” Years have hidden the truth of this deception that I wrought. I’m the one who wove deceptive tales that everybody bought. But when the truth is told at last and no more lies are found You’ll gladly find an ending that surely will astound. Grandpa? -- He now lives with Jesus, and me? -- I’m headed there. Tige? – I know he’s still around though I shouldn’t tell you where. We made a pact some years ago when things went awfully bad. For years he’s been the best darn mascot my school ever had.

Copyright © John Posey

Long poem by Robert Candler | Details |

Two's Magic Nose

Such a nose had Ol’ Blue.
Best in south Missouri... everybody knew.
Could smell a pheasant across the plain.
Could point a covey in a hurricane.
That’s the way the legend goes.
Ol’ Blue had a “magic nose.”
As Blue got older, his master’s mind would drift away
To a place where he and young Blue used to play. 
In the mornings, sitting over his coffee cup
He found it sad there were no pups.
He thought it would be such a shame
If the only memory was Ol’ Blue’s name.
So, Jim was compelled and full of pride;
He made a search, far and wide,
To find Ol’ Blue a suitable mate.
No doubt, his offspring would be great.
It seemed likely, he supposed,
At least one pup would have his “magic nose.”
She was a Champion Miss from New Orleans,
A beautiful “red” named Cajun Queen.
But Blue suddenly passed away, before the pups were born.
Jim was broken hearted.  He and “Queenie” mourned.
Then came the litter, but there was only one.
Jim struggled for hope; after all, he was Ol’ Blue’s son.
Dappled and lanky, a handsome little cuss,
He looked just like Blue.  Jim made such a fuss.
Naming this pup would require no ado.
It was obvious.  Officially, he would be “Blue Two.”
Oh yes, these were mighty large tracks to fill.
“Can he?”, folks asked.  Jim would say, “Heck yes he will!”

So his nickname became “Two” and he seemed to be smart.
Soon it was time for his training to start.
The basics went well, but Jim’s outlook grew very dim
When, instead of pointing, Two would wag and jump and bark at him.
Oh, Two seemed to be trying; but try as he might,
He just could not seem to ever get it right.

“Blue’s son or not, he’s got to go!”
Jim found Two a “pet home” far away, in Tupelo.
On his way back, he stopped in Texarkana.
Been too long a time since he’d seen his sister Hannah.
Six days and six pounds later, he was back on his way.
Work at the farm was callin’ and he’d be drivin’ all day.
He thought about Ol’ Blue and wondered if and when
He’d ever have a birddog as good as Blue again.
Oh, he knew another “magic nose” was just a far off dream;
After all, it wasn’t something any man could scheme.
A “magic nose” was a gift from God, only given to a few;
And he was proud and very lucky just to have known Ol’ Blue.
As he turned into his drive, he broke into a smile.
“Why… I can’t believe it!  It…It must be 300 miles!”
Two was on the porch, thin and dirty; but he struck a handsome pose.
Jim ran and hugged Two hard.  “How’d you get back?  Lord only knows!”
Suddenly Jim realized; and struck with awe, he slowly rose.
A tear trickled to his smile.  “Why Two… you have a “magic nose!”
Two and Jim are best of friends, together everywhere.
From milkin’ cows to bedtime, Two is always there.
Jim doesn’t hunt much anymore, now Two’s a rescue dog.
Just last month, he saved a little girl lost in Cooley’s Bog.
Jim struts and tells proud, heroic stories;
While Two wags and jumps and barks, and shares his glory.
Jim boasts, “Like father, like son!”, then speaks fondly of Blue;
But all know the largest tracks to fill are those of Two.
His deeds are known far and wide,
And fill Jim’s heart with love and pride.
For with every rescue, the legend grows;
About a dog named Two, and his “magic nose.”

Copyright © Robert Candler

Long poem by Cinda Carter | Details |

Natalie and Nancy

We believe in their first home they were somewhat abused.
So, when they first came to our home they were afraid and confused.
We coaxed them out by giving them water and food.
We met their needs and before you knew it they were sleeping in our bedroom.

Natalie has been blessed with personality. 
We think it's cute to think of her as Miss Congeniality.
Nancy is full of form and grace.
We like to think of her as a Miss America coming into first place.

Natalie is the motherly type in nature.
She's also comical but by far she's especially gracious.
Nancy is timid and shy.
But when she wants to be petted, she has a petite little cry.

Nancy and Natalie are sisters and seem very smart.
They've never been separated or apart.
All they had was each other.
With the protection of our Heavenly Father.

I have learned much by observing them.
It is on us that they totally depend.
Most of the time they seem so relaxed.
This is a simple fact.

When their needs are met,
They do not fret.
And while we love and comfort them.
All their fears disappear and we become the best of friends.

They still show signs of fear periodically.
When I watch them, this is what I see.
With a gentle touch of the hand or with a soft-spoken word.
Their fears are relieved for sure.

They come and go as they please.
They enjoy each others company and the feeling of being free.
For the wounded of heart, God can and will cure.
It is true in what God says in His word...

"His perfect love casts out fear"
I find true comfort in this, that He is always near.
He is there to comfort us.
All He wants is our love and trust.

With His unconditional love.
My fears disappear, and which can only come from God above.
Our little animal friends and pets.
Are no different in some respect.

We enjoy watching them run about and play.
They are more relaxed and not so afraid.
We all have some kind of fear.
But it is our Heavenly Father that draws us near.

Thank you, Lord for Natalie and Nancy, our two cats.
Thank you, for all You have given us and where our lives are at.
But most of all for giving to us your Son, Jesus the Christ.
Who is the giver of Life.

P.S.  I wrote this poem in their behalf in 2006...We brought them home in April of 2005, they were almost 5 years old...Nancy died in August of this year, 2015...She lived with us for 10 years...It was a very sad day when we lost her but I was able to spend her last minutes with her in order to comfort her...Nancy was buried in our garden in the front yard...So, I would very much like to dedicate this poem to her...She was so, special to us...We still have Natalie and are so, grateful for her, she will be 15 years old this fall in October...I dread the day she must go too...Natalie, will also be buried out front in our garden so, they will always be together and never have to be separated again...It's never easy no matter how long you have had them...They have given us much joy and love.

"In Remembrance of Nancy."

Cinda M Carter

Contest-My Pet

Copyright © Cinda Carter

Long poem by Robert Candler | Details |

Circle of Life - A Pet Story

It seems like just the other day
Our pup, Shadrack, did pass away;
And altho’ they never seemed like friends,
My old cat, Jorg, knew Shad had met
   his untimely end.

He mourned his loss every day
And looked for Shadrack everywhere.
He’d mew and moan as if to say,
“We were friends.  I do care.”

Then one night, an eerie howl
Awoke me from my sleep.
He’d found Shad’s toys and left no doubt
That his feelings did run deep.

So our tedious search began
To find another likely pup;
But while my poor wife still grieved,
Could another measure up?

We went to Second Chance and Free to Live.
She just could not make up her mind.
She loved them all; but, if she picked just one,
The rest would have to stay behind.

Then, quite by chance, there was a “pound pup”
Who’d been picked up from the streets.
He was a mutt, a “schnauza-pug”;
But he was awfully sweet.

He jumped up and kissed her frantically.
He seemed aware of his “iffy” situation.
He made the best of his opportunity.
Tears of joy told her elation.

“This is the one”, she smiled through tears,
As she held him... oh, so tight.
“I’m sure that Jorg will like him too.
Everything will be alright”.

And so it was, until one day
When old Jorg did pass away…

There was no hesitation on this sad occasion;
Come Saturday morning, we went straight 
   to the pound,
Open minded and hoping to be “saviors”,
Surely a nice cat was to be found.

“Sadly”, the lady said,” three kitties have only today.
There’s Andre and Panda and another one too”.
My wife smiled and said, “Jorg was your boy.  You pick.
They’re both beautiful cats.  It’s up to you”.

As I pondered this commitment
Another cat, a young one, caught my eye.
Like Jorg, he was a common gray tabby.
Fond memories were stirred.  I almost cried.

On closer look, his name was Boris;
And, strangely, he was number three.
There was a small sign on his crate,
“I don’t like other cats and other cats don’t like me”.

But there was character in his eyes and he was cute.
He was rolling and purring and stretching.
He seemed to look deep into my heart
And did his best to be quite fetching.

But because he was just a common gray tabby,
And because of the little sign,
His chances were slim, his future quite dim
And one day is precious little time.

For a moment I was lost in his eyes
And I heard his desperate plea, 
“I’m a swell cat and litter box trained.
Take me.  Please, take me”.

“Well”, my wife urged, “is it Andre or Panda”?
“One of us will take the other kitty.”, two older ladies chimed.
“You can each have one ladies”, I said with a smile.
I want Boris and he wants to be mine”.

In just hours he was romping and rolling with Pepper,
Who had happily welcomed his new friend.
Boris was a perfect fit, an affirmation;
The Circle of Life never ends.

Much more Joy than Sadness in this Circle,
And there should never be regrets.
Honor their memories and all the love they share,
Never break the Circle, never be without a Pet.

Copyright © Robert Candler

Long poem by frank halliwell | Details |


                                                                        Frank Halliwell

It seems a year or two at most that Luke has been around,
But nine have passed since first I spied him at the Brisbane pound.
He stood in dogdom's big house, all ears and tongue and smile,
The model of a friendly dog, without a trace of guile.

'Please, that one in the second cage, with the german shepherd look! '
The attendant riffled pages, and he found him in his book.
'It says that he's half kelpie and he called Carina home,
And that his name is Luke, and that he sometimes likes to roam.'

'Here, boy! ' I called, and here he came, and without hesitation
His tail a hairy question mark; would he improve his station?
I hope I did, in our short time, improve his life as he has mine.
I've seldom known so loyal a friend, nor dreamed of how soon it would end.

He's sure done all those doggy things that dogs are famous for.
He's barked at all & sundry and shed hair on every floor.
He's barked at trucks with flapping tarps and kids on minibikes.
and howled in unison with Spook to tell of their dislikes...

Of the sirens of the ambulance or wailing police cars
In hot pursuit of motorists caught in covert radars.
Now suddenly I come aware that he's well past his prime.
The years have all been stolen by the furtive thief of time.

At first it's hardly noticed, no real drama at first sight,
Just a restless movement in the dark, a whimper in the night...
He thinks that I'm all knowing, he believes that I'm all wise,
And he thinks that I can fix it; I can see it in his eyes.

But now it looks like it's the end, it seems no cure is known.
A defect in the hip socket to which his breed is prone.
The computer screen is shimmering, like looking through a fog,
As I write to tell the story of my lovely long-eared dog.

I lift him up into the car, his leap has long since gone,
Would he be quite so happy, if he knew the road we're on?
I'm waiting for the vet to open, crying like a child.
'Would you come this way to see the vet? ' The lady in white smiled.

The leg is shaved and sterilized, one might well wonder why!
The syringe at last is empty, and I bid my friend goodbye.
I hold him tight and talk to him, 'sleep now, my dear old friend'.
And cradled in my arms he sleeps; and we have reached the end.

And still, down by the fence he sleeps, beneath the shady trees.
Where the wild birds chatter from the branches, swaying in the breeze.
And high above him, after dark, the southern cross burns bright,
And there'll be no more pain or hurt... No whimper in the night.

Copyright © frank halliwell

Long poem by Rev. Rebecca Guile Hudson | Details |

Some Limericks...

She’s out there chasing a cricket

Through bush, through shrub & through thicket

Together they hop

Fugitive, cop

But when she gets it, she just wants to lick it!

A cat whose vet took his eye

Just cannot quite understand why

His eye’s been enucleated,

3-D vision reduciated,

So now, he keeps an eye out for an eye

Ya gotta keep limericks loose

Think green eggs, or perhaps Dr. Seuss

They’re structured, it’s true,

But they’re also a zoo

Whose tenants are all on the loose!

I frolic in fountains of words

Overflowing with serious absurds

Each poem I write

Wakes up and takes flight

Joining angels and faeries and birds

You ask that we write a good limerick

How to do so, I haven’t a glimmerick

So I struggle and frown

Teaching  poems to clown

So a smile on your lips will be shimmerick

A cat with a mouth full of mouse

Brought her feast right into my house

She played with her food

Who was not in the mood

To be a banquet of mouse in the house

The nightmares that shadow my sleep

Stampede the proverbial sheep

Right out of my mind

When I try to unwind

I find my appointment with sleep hard to keep

In her search for original truth

She met people unsavory and couth

She knitted and purled

But only unfurled

Yarns told by new age and old youth

Cat, suddenly pink,

Drinks her water from out of the sink

She looks so absurd

Since she’s been de-furred

I really don’t know what to think!

If one and one is two and two is four,

And there’s only two ways to go through  a door,

Then, is earth up or down?

And, where is down town?

These are questions we need to explore!

A was that is an is

Tried to mind my biz

But I sent it packing,

Its presence was lacking

And I don’t have time for such shiz!

A couple who lived in Los Lunas

Loved the wide desert sky’s crystal blueness

They’d stare at the air,

Over here, over there

And rejoice at the feeling of newness

A cat with a very fat gut

Found it easier to walk on his butt

He’d drag it around

Across carpet and ground

And use it to slam the doors shut

Said the Missus to her dear Mr. Otter,

“There’s something I think that you oughta

Do before we get old

To protect us from cold –

You oughta make the hot water hotter!”

The ghosts who live up in my attic

Make noises that sound much like static

I’ve tried to send them away,

But they’re here to stay,

Those staticky ghosts in my attic

Copyright © Rev. Rebecca Guile Hudson

Long poem by Sara Zahed | Details |

A Dog and the Black Umbrella

On a rainy day, I decided to read in the hotel’s lobby
There, I found no one, but I heard deep breathes
I thought it was my imagination, so I sat on a cozy red chair as I began reading "War and 
But, the deep breathes did not stop, instead, it turned into heart breaking sobs
I looked around to see if there is someone sitting in the hotel's lobby with me...
But, there was nothing except for the drop drips across the window
Slowly, I stood up and walked towards the sound's source
Thus, my feet led me towards the hotel's main entrance
And there, I saw a dog sitting beside a black open umbrella...
I saw something dripping from the dog's face, but I was afraid to go closer to see if he is 
Gently, I crept, gently, I sat beside the dog...
I looked at him to see him sobbing, yet looking at something I couldn't see
Then, he lay on the ground next to me, as he tried to wipe his tears with my jeans
I caressed his head as I tried to help
I waited for a while as I watched the drip drop
The sun began to shine on the borders of the land
And the dog stopped sobbing for a while
He stood up and looked at me; trying to ask me to follow him
As I was standing up, he held the umbrella and gave it to me
He gently barked to tell me to put above our hands
And so, we ventured into the rainy day's display as the dog led the way
Five minutes walk was all it took, for we stopped in front of a hospital
Once more, the dog barked as he looked at the black umbrella in my hands
I lowered it to him to see what he wants
It was then that I understood the dog's sobs, for it was a devotion to his friendly owner
On the black umbrella was a small tag that read the owner's name; "Sam Mathews"
I went into the hospital to ask for him and the nurse led me to his room
There, beneath the white sheets, lay an old man with a smile on his face
When the dog saw him, he ran to hug the old man as he sobbed once more

I left the room, thinking of the old man's brief story of what had happened;
"On a rainy day, I wanted to take my dog for a walk; suddenly I felt pain in my heart as I 
blacked out
 Then, I opened my eyes to find myself lying in this bed with a nurse beside me
 I asked for my dog, but he was nowhere near
 I had this black umbrella in my hand, but it must have fallen, and my dog must have stayed 
beside it waiting   for me to come..."
That dog is a loyal friend, for he waited, without food and water
For his nearest moment to see his friend...

Copyright © Sara Zahed

Long poem by Michael Benkhen | Details |

Acid Dawn

Let us rest our heads upon the pillow of denial, turn twilight in the last clear reflection of the silent moon. Where vile droppings fell the freshness of the morning sea, turn to graveyards, lest we be; 
...swimming in an acid dawn.

The corpse of shellings, scales a strewn, where once transparent was so blue,
this morning features scarlet hue, as skin is shredded in the burning morn. 
Where vile droppings fell the freshness of the morning sea, turn to graveyards, 
lest we be;
...swimming in an acid dawn.

...And come mid sun up, we shall bathe; 
within sulfuric, petrol waves and drink our lemon juice until we choke. 
Till our teeth rot and our tears evoke, the pandora’s box which we awoke. 

An orange bright, our arid plight, and we the specks of dust behind;
lurching a dehydrated, evaporated existence. Famine on our minds.
Walking footsteps which no longer walk, dreaming of the past to escape the future as the present seeps our blood and marrow, the desert sun, a piercing arrow, stabbing at our hearts.

We hobble, oh we hobble and we hobble through the wasted years, through bones and makeshift graves, we’ll hobble into the final age;
where vile droppings fell the freshness of the morning sea, turn to graveyards,
lest we be;
...swimming in an acid dawn.


It is estimated that within the next decade or two that the ocean will become so acidic as to dissolve the shells of mollusks and shellfish.  This in addition to the already dwindling supply of precious fresh water which we must share with our animal friends.  A supply by the way that we contaminate regularly, a supply that simply cannot be renewed. 

Desalination was looked upon as the next great solution to water shortage despite it's expense. However considering how the oceans are becoming increasingly polluted due to oil spill after oil spill and Fukushima's constant radioactive leaks, in addition to the acidification of the ocean itself, it appears that we will have no viable water to look forward to in the future. 

This is life.  Forget profit, it doesn't exist.  Nature has no concept of wealth, only of survival. If we all die, everything that we've accomplished will be forgotten, nature has no use for it. Currency will return to being simply paper and stone, and nothing else.

We need to stop thinking about ourselves and think of our children and all the other species that live upon the earth.

Copyright © Michael Benkhen

Long poem by Brian Johnston | Details |

The Man Who Loved Lizards

I've always loved lizards, which explains a lot, 
My youth spent exploring what others would not. 
Our days at the park would find me in pursuit
Of speedy blue bellies (in long dry swim suit.)	
A butterfly net I'd adapt for the chase
Or plastic container I grabbed any place.
Good days I might catch me as many as sev'n,
As close as a boy comes to being in heav'n.	

And then in the Peace Corps I found love again, 
With African lizards, the Chameleon.
The locals had told me they were poisonous
But their colored patterns for me were a plus,
Ignored black folk wisdom as if in a dream,
My penchant for lizards, it still reigned supreme.
I became a wizard in the local mind,
When perched on my shoulder was what they maligned.	

The more I collected, the more to extol,
Some small ones with three horns thrilled me to my soul.
A brown skinny one that resembled a stick,
Their catching a meal a spectacular trick.
A bug that had been there, now isn't you see,
Though small as an ant or as big as a bee.
It's scanning, nonsynchronous, eyes lock on prey,
Brief bulge in it's throat, now an insect entree.

Chameleon weakness is that it's so slow,
And crossing a road can cause problems I know,
For most of the time that is how they are caught,
The color of pavement is something they're not.
It's not a bad life for most leave them alone,
The forest floor hides them with plants overgrown,
The legend is told if you see them embrace,
Prepare for long life, for that's just what you face!

But king of them all, well, I called him Mzee,*
A quite splendid fellow I miss to this day,
His green iridescent, on dirt mottled brown,
I swear that no other would dare take his crown.
A full eighteen inches from head to his tail,	
His tongue almost two feet, I never saw fail,
When angry, a pattern - bright yellow, brown, black,
No doubt in my mind why folks feared his attack.	

The horn on his nose was outstandingly long, 
And hisses of warning were his only song.
His color transition from tranquil to mad,
Took less than ten seconds which I thought was rad.
But feeding my lizards soon became a chore, 
Live grasshoppers just can’t be bought in a store, 
My letting them go was the right thing to do, 
And I found new dreams just as good to pursue.

August 8, 2014

* In Swahili, Mzee (pronounced M zay' is a formal greeting of respect of a 
younger man to an older man, like Good afternoon Sir! in English.

Copyright © Brian Johnston

Long Poems