Home > Science as Poetry > Dactyl, a Jig on Four Feet

Dactyl, a Jig on Four Feet

December 1, 2005

Upon the announcement in the journal Nature that some dinosaurs ate grass, which matters — to someone –because no one knew grass was around then to be eaten.

Sauropod’s dancing on Jurassic grass; it’s a
Paradox, prancing in spite of its mass, for the
Experts all swore that the creature’s too old and the
Grass is too young.
But the dinosaur tries the strange
Fronds at its toes; it chews them and swallows six
Yards from its nose — if the mouthful is chewy it’s
Not a big deal, for a sauropod’s constantly
Hunting for meals.
Now the dinosaur’s stomach is
Coming around; brobdignagian muscles are
Brought to bear down, and in time an unspeakable
Solid hits ground and confuses the primitive
The dust and the sands of uncountable
Weekends enfold the remains of both feaster and
Feast — till a diligent scientist ranging the
Plains cracks a rock, takes a look, thinks a bit, holy
In a lab near the lawn of a famous old
College, a squad of researchers are sifting for
Knowledge. The stuff that they sift doesn’t signify
Now — with antiquity’s blessing, it’s just coprolite.

Writings like these ought to come to a point, and the
Simpler the language the better: Indelicate
Things are most easy to speak if the label’s not
Plain, and the language is Greek.Written by P.
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  1. December 2, 2005 at 7:28 am

    Adorable. Thank you. :)

  2. December 4, 2005 at 10:31 pm


    What a wonderful prehistoric waltz!

  3. December 8, 2005 at 7:12 am

    I’d like to see it illustrated in a children’s book. Delightful!

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