Two magpies in the purple jacaranda –
shadows of their pterodactyl ancestry
they strut and hop, two officers, arms tucked
behind them, unaware they’ve lost a war.
Down here the war goes on, this tiny lizard
catching the garden sun was once as vast
as a dump truck, before the asteroid.
My kind was a skittering mouse, now I’m a fortified
tower and his kind is scattering
to dodge my sandals. Tiny creatures flicker
like torn nerve endings in the wounded leg
of Tyrannosaurus Rex. For Darwin, this
was evolution in its battle-gear
affirming the fierce divinity of change.
John Upton’s poetry has been published in the 2015 and 2014 editions of Best Australian Poems, in daily newspapers in Australia and in literary journals in Australia and England. His first collection, Embracing The Razor, published in 2014 by Puncher and Wattmann, was short-listed for the Anne Elder Award. He has also had five stage plays produced.