Big time

John Upton


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.

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