Gecko - Poem by Les Derbyshire
This poem was inspired by my time spent in the Philippines.
Look! The builders have playfully sculpted a gecko
In the plaster.
There - high up on the wall.
Knowing how we love to watch them
In the evening
While we sip our red wine
Had generously gifted us his skill.
In the soft light of the lamp
In the heat of the tropical evening
I study the exquisite creature
While the sounds of the plantation night
Drift in on the still air
Across the open veranda.
Near-pink, scaly-smooth skin;
Unblinking glass-marble eyes;
Minutely fashioned feet -
The sucker-toes one with the wall.
But the gaudy butterfly is not fooled!
A split-second away from her inanimate nemesis
She flirts and flaunts herself
Drawn by his stillness
And I watch.
Mesmerised by the stillness
Even the sounds of the night are hushed
As though in anticipation;
An audience on the edge of a drama,
They wait because they expect a drama:
The lightening flash that will pierce the foolish insect.
The ending that they have witnessed so many times.
But me? Why do I sit transfixed,
Like them, holding my breath
When I know.
This object of the craftsman's skill,
Motionless there on the wall.
One plaster-pink foot
(© Les Derbyshire February 2009)
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