From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

EVOLVE (for the Dewdrop Duchess)

When you were a centipede, I was a millipede.
Our difference was but time, distance, length and speed.
You measured in centimeters while I did mine in millimeters;
but all we trailed was one lead. Phylum Arthropoda;
you of the tribe chilopoda, I native of the diplopoda;
ever creepy, ever lovely, critters, lovers.

Unconsciously we lived, unconsciously we loved
and unconsciously we died. We slumbered side-by-side,
by the flames of passion engulfed.
Time turned on the lathe and we spun by the tools of fate,
into some other entities shaped. We hadn’t lips to debate,
but luckily, we begat breath again in the womb of death;
where you were my mate, though to a higher echelon evolved.

Now to phylum mollusca, we took life slow and steady,
crawling tenderly upon our belly; still, you were my only lover.
Oh! How I loved your lips and their gracious offer of hydrocolloid-jelly;
the doting nectar, aphrodisiac most sexy. You snail, me slug,
creeping slowly, softly, gently; to meet, meat and mate
upon the grassy-rug. Change remained constant.
Once you were a tadpole, I was a fish,
then we became amphibians against our wish.
Together, toad and frog, two familiar aliens.
The hour-glass turned, and we died once more.
But again we returned, meeting by the Specton-shore.
This time we had scales and tails.
Gleefully we lived, joyfully we loved, and happily we died.
Our forms translated upon the Putton-bed.
Our eyes opened at dawn and we noticed
we bore the traits of the bird.
Feathers and wings, and the hands that made us,
did also in us embed, a fount from which sweet songs spring.
Then each one flew-on, free-to-air; here, there, everywhere.
Liberty besotted our minds, we pitched our nest
wherever we deemed best; and not for a moment
pause to think of the other’s interest.
But time was gracious in reinventing the wheel
and the will. So we went back, down the Darwinian-track,
to that special time when we were creepy-lovers, lovely-critters.
And though the clock of change has not stopped,
yet we are sure this time our union will not be lost;
we have mastered the light and the swift,
and from impudence to innocence
we have

Evolved . . .

N/B: Written after Langdon Smith . . .

Soonest Nathaniel

Soonest Nathaniel

Soonest Nathaniel is a poet, broadcast journalist, and spoken word artist from Nigeria. His poetry collection, Teaching Father How to Impregnate Women, was selected as a winner of the RL Poetry Award. A Rhysling and Pushcart nominee, Soonest was named a 2021 Langston Hughes Fellow at the Palm Beach Festival and Poet Laureate for the Korea Nigeria Poetry Festival. His poems have been included in Rattle, FIYAH, Pedestal Magazine, Ilanot Review, Feral Poetry, Contemporary Verse 2, Coffinbell, Idle Ink, Icefloe Press, Tulsa Review, Cider Press, Off the Coast Magazine, Northridge Review, Qmaker, The Elevation Review, Raven Chronicles, Scintilla, Silver Blade Poetry, Rockford Review, Evocations Review, Praxis Online, Loudthotz, Reverbnation, Saraba, Elsewhere, and Erbacce UK, among others. Soonest lives and works in Abuja. When he is not scribbling in his Milk House, he spends the time listening to the music of the spheres or reading the stars.