Poetry June 2012

Lonesome George

Giant tortoise kept penned at the Charles Darwin Research Station, Galápagos Islands

No mate for him exists.
     Last one of his subspecies,
he solemnly persists
     in turning into feces
eelgrass brown and dry,
     spine-sprinkled cactus leaves.
Straining to gulp a fly,
     he hastily retrieves
blunt head. Dead-ending male,
     lone emblem of despair,
he slumps on his knees, his tail
     antennaing the air.
For a long moment we bind
     sympathetic looks,
we holdouts of our kind,
     like rhymed lines, printed books.

X. J. Kennedy’s recent books include In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus: New and Selected Poems 1955–2007 and Peeping Tom’s Cabin: Comic Verse 1928–2008.
Presented by

Google Street View, Transformed Into a Tiny Planet

A 360-degree tour of our world, made entirely from Google's panoramas

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Google Street View, Transformed Into a Tiny Planet

A 360-degree tour of our world, made entirely from Google's panoramas

Video

The 86-Year-Old Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile the patriarch of a family farm

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."
More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In