Spring 1960 • Vol. XXII No. 2 PoetryApril 1, 1960 |

Marine Iguana: Narborough Island, Galapagos

Still dwelling in Darwin's paradise, O fringed Victorian reptile, and amazed at visiting mammals (creatures crazed to kill, yet like the Beagle's captain, come proclaiming this: "fit shore of Pandemonium!"), you sit in harem. By breeding color singed, great-armored thinker, you watch the flightless cormorants on lava edges. Your eye's unfretted jet keeps dignity: delight and passion and regret all gravitate to keep of days and cast of sun. Not knowing nature as hedge and hem, you reject my fact of fiery fear, as if intellect had covenant with earth. Even frays of sex, O formidable male, tense, glaring and perplexed, are ritual fights. Goatishly butting, you get satisfaction without bloodshed, and retreat to ponderous indecision, paradise yet. Victor and vanquished lack the human heat for racial suicide, and your ruling text is "multiply," not "murder." Happily linked with nature (not missingly, as I), do you marvel that I, impatient, am not yet extinct?

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Still dwelling in Darwin's paradise, O fringed Victorian reptile, and amazed at visiting mammals (creatures crazed to kill, yet like the Beagle's captain, come proclaiming this: "fit shore of Pandemonium!"), […]

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