Clock Swallower

by Michael Scott

On another day he would be plucky Hector
or Chaska Star Spirit of the Selva
gazing gormless into CrocCam™.
This lifetime his film crew are eating sandwiches
and mocking up spider habitats in Borehamwood,
not staring into the fruitless eye sockets
of a dried up reptile on a Peruvian cocha.

A confiscated luxury belt buckle,
now way out of its league,
extracting a month old caiman
from a concreted sandbar
is not archaeology,
but requires skilled use of long nosed pliers
and sometimes fishing line through the nostrils.

He could have been a contender
he had it all – the malevolent grin of nasty poesy,
the back story of chip chip chipping the glossy egg
prehistoric mummy dumped on the bank,
the daily cut and thrust
with those freaky enemies in the lake.

The sky just got lower and lower,
like it does,
until one day
unable to slither to the safety
of an upturned pineapple under the sea,
his water ran out.