On The Tip Of Its Tongue

A what’s-it-called, you know, that flattish thing
That lives inside itself, like in a tank
Or caravan? The one that doesn’t sing
Although it has a beak? That thing that sank
Because it doesn’t swim? That wasn’t it
But almost could have been; they’re very like,
So much they could be cousins,
Just a bit
More three-dimensional. Once, on a hike,
I saw the thing it isn’t on a rock
And screamed so loud you thought I’d been attacked
And then you laughed because I’d such a shock
I dropped my aviators and they cracked?
Well, anyway, the thing that isn’t that?
A snapping one is hanging from your cat.

Speedy Joe

I call my turtle Speedy Joe.
It’s funny ’cause he’s really slow
And pops amphetamines like gum.
That’s comedy where I come from.
Before you ask me if his name
Is Joe, it’s not, but all the same,
Admit it: Speedy Joe sounds cooler
Than his given name, Heath Shuler.

Shellfish Bastards

The carapace upon its back
Protects the turtle from attack.
Its armored underbelly, too,
Inoculates it from the flu.
That greenish, scaly skin it wears?
Anathema to grizzly bears.
The turtle’s tiny, pointy tail
Is where it stores its draft email
To keep it safe from Wikileaks.
If safety smells, the turtle reeks!
So, why so reckless with its eggs?
It dumps them on the beach and legs
It to the ocean: Later, quinks!
(Not the tortoise, though. It sinks.)