Poetry by D.W. Walker

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Now You See Us ...

A hairy man on a mountain pass
A chip on his shoulder because people call him "abominable".
Another hairy man, drifting through the bush.
A white horse with a straight horn growing from its forehead
With a soft spot for virgins.

There are more of us.
Fire-breathing winged lizards that park on ledges
And sleep in caves on piles of treasure.
Muscle-bound louts that lurk under bridges
And turn to stone at the first ray of the sun.
Serpents with long necks and long, looping bodies
Inhabiting remote lochs.
Big cats that roam the Australian bush.
A big range of man-eaters, people lookalikes
That live in places you wouldn't want to go to,
With human bodies but heron's heads,
Heads with four eyes glaring in all directions,
Heads below their shoulders,
Floppy lips used to keep off the rain,
A single huge foot used as a sunshade.

We are the inspiration for a lucrative industry:
Massive search parties in remote localities,
Expensive cutting edge technology,
The enthusiasm maintained by distant sightings,
Blurry photographs
And subtle hints of ongoing presence,
Urging the searchers on though they never find us,
Because if they did, end of business,
Disappointment all round.

That doesn't mean we aren't stayers.
When Lake George goes dry, does the bunyip go away?
No way.
He stays there, invisible, until it fills up again,
And he can resume enjoying himself
Freaking out passing motorists.

But the best thing about being an imaginary animal
Is that we can't go extinct,
Whatever the impact of flood, fire or famine,
Predation, hunting, the internet,
Habitat destruction or climate change.
Okay, there's a risk that people might forget about us,
But myths are persistent beasts
Handed down over the generations.
Popping up when least expected
And gathering legions of true believers.

David Walker


Copyright © D.W. Walker, 2010

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