Stan and Bette Solomons

Poetry and Artwork

Author: PGallagher69 Page 2 of 6

Sampans / Junks

Hakka Girl

The Pink Fairy Armadillo

I do not believe in fairies
At the bottom of my garden
Flitting and floating on the breeze.

Ethereal as butterflies
Sipping nectar, casting spells.
Shy, elegant and feminine

But the real fairies that I know.
Have heavy bony armour shells
And feast upon the ants and snails.

I’ll have no more with fairy tales!
Pink Fairy Armadillos
Live close within their desert burrows.

Protected by their carapace,
Living within this sordid space,
With unforgiving sand for pillows,

What did transform them to this state
Consigned them to a dreadful fate?

The details would take far too long.
Suffice to say a fairy spell went wrong!

The Pink Fairy Armadillo is found in central Argentina where it inhabits dry grasslands and sandy plains with thorn bushes and cacti. It has the ability to bury itself completely in a matter of seconds if frightened. It feeds on worms, snails, insects and larvae, or various plant and root material.

pink fairy armadillo



Forked tongue
stroking the air
tasting the fear.

Focussed on the prey
its smell and sight,
close by.

Jaws gaping unhung,
venom drooling

A fatal lunge.
Writhing and convulsion,
slow peristalsis.

Finally peace
and satisfaction.

The Orang utan (Pongo Pygmaeus)

Pongo pygmaeus,
like some of us
has a big brain,
and in the main
is quite a clever feller

But unlike us,
Pongo pygmaeus,
has little vice
and spends a life
at leisure
in Paradise.

are hedonist, epicurean,
lissom and free
plucking the blossoms
of the day,
The young orangs all swing
from branch to branch.
and sing and dance,
while elders sit,
pontificate and think

If we but knew
they sang and talked
and danced and thought,
like what we do

We’d seize our chance,
imitate their ways,
give them our thanks,

Alas, given our history
we’d soon make them slaves.

The Orang-utan (Pongo pygmaeus), lives in Borneo and Sumatra.
Its name is Malayan and means “Man of the Woods. “
There is an island legend that Orangs can speak but do not do so for fear humans will put them to work.

A Wooing Go

Henrietta Van den Trogs,
A virgin princess, fond of frogs,
Looked in the mirror one fine day
And horror stricken, saw some grey.

The dreadful image made her wince!
It was high time she got a Prince!
She looked again at her reflection,
Hardly a sight to rouse the passions

Of any passing Prince or King.
In all a most unlovesome thing!
Face like a horse, alack, alas!
How would she ever find a match?

Too late! Too late! Alas, alack!
Then sudden inspiration struck:
She’d find a frog to kiss, she thought.
A grateful Prince would blossom forth.

No sooner said, she fled headlong
Down to the lake where rushes throng
And water lilies bloom in beauty.
‘Twas there she saw a frog on duty,

Glistening like an emerald.
A lovely sight! She was enthralled
And kissed him straight without decorum,
Saying with love: “My place or your’un?”

“Mine!” croaked the frog, swelling with pride,
While she shrank slowly to his size,
Then followed coyly in his wake
To their new pad across the lake.

The Cheetah

On the veldt,
the cheetah stands.

A thing of beauty,
balance, elegance,

Swift and svelte,
focussing his hopes
upon the antelopes
nearby grazing.

And he, tensing,
sensuous, graceful,
lithe and lethal,
a guided missile

Aimed and waiting
to launch into action,
become a virtual
poem in motion.

A killing creature,
a machine fashioned,
over the years,
of grace and beauty.
and cruelty.

Poised there
In all his elegance.

The Condor

The condor slides
down hollow heights
fondling with grace
the contours of the wind,
pinions out-spread
and frayed.

The condor glides
a pure idea of flight,
in sheer space,
soaring in thermals,
swaying on pinnacles
of twisted air.

Slow and serene,
he rides the Andes,
scanning the scene
with laser eyes
the swoops to seize
food that dies.

A Gecko on the Ceiling

(A tropical interlude)

It was like a cameo
carved in crystal time.
And I lay long,
sweating and supine,
in Hong Kong

Staring in a trance
staring with fixed eye
and immobile mind
at the lizard on the ceiling,
caught in mid dance.

Seeing no movement,
awaiting nothing,
inert as a thing,
a non-event.

But I was content,
with fellow feeling
for the gecko
on the ceiling

It was a cameo,
carved out of time.


The day blushes, declines
all further dalliance with the light,
and the small folk of the night
peer forth, timid for their life.

The hedgehog goes tapping
tip-toes along the path
then, silent in four wheel drive
across the grass.

His panoply of prickles swaying,
he rolls from side to side,
shy and rotund,
black button eyes twinkling,
like a character from Dickens.

Damp chamois nose crinkling
at the delectable smells
that surge and creep
from the compost heap,
and new-turned earth.

Ears hidden like dark shells,
swivelled on soft sounds
of deliquescent slugs,
and worms that squirm,
and round shiny bugs
in an ungainly panic.

9 September, 1998

Page 2 of 6

© Pete Gallagher - PJG Creations Ltd