Eliphibian

by A.C. Clarke

What if the small black dot in the heart of the glop –
which even on tadpole terms seems unlikely to prosper
left out high and all but dry on the hillside
like a troubling child – were to bud in all directions:
the bulbous head blossoming two ears
lavish as palm-heads, the tail springing a tassel,
the folds at the edge of the mouth thrusting out tushes
the snout uncurling a trunk thick as liana
and as the bulk of the thing heaved to its feet
stepping out of discarded frills of jelly
it let loose out of that pink-tipped, pliant bassoon
triumphant blasts as its great feet quivered the grass.
Suppose it twice the size of anything seen
in our diminished days, as if the bones
of a mastodon uncovered on a beach
by the wash of tides were to take new flesh, its hide smooth as
butter, green and glistening as olives…
What if this new-spawned wonder, scattering sheep,
thudded down to the small white tourist town
turning all heads from tea-towels printed with doggerel,
tartan teapots, pottery seals –
the nemesis that all had been vaguely expecting
there in the car park stuffing shrubs into its maw
before it waddled off to give the loch
its newest monster – its wash capsizing small boats
tethered alongside the pier. Cameras clicking:
no-one knowing in the slightest what else to do.