This is a re-worked version of a NaPoWriMo 2013 poem, I’m trying to get it ready to submit for publication somewhere, so all comments and feedback are especially welcome. The original version is here, if you’re interested…

The mall is full of dugong,

Basking gently in the atrium of filtered light,

This temperate zone, these grazing pastures.

Flippers on the handlebars of grand-nippers,

At whom they smile, bewildered, but kind,

Floating tenderness to the youngest

Of the Family Dugongidae.


Dugong spend much of their time alone,

Great, grey, chamois-soft, slump-shouldered bulks

Navigating zeppelin-slow through the aisles

Of the twenty-four hour Asda,

Pondering the mysteries of couscous,

Considering treats for little visitors.


Dugong spend much of their time in pairs,

Rootling with their bristled, sensitive snouts

For nice cups of tea and a scone,

Though they are sometimes seen

Gathered in large herds,

To do taichi at the community centre.

A synchronised dugang,

Fluked tails moving patiently

Through Needle On The Bottom Of The Sea.


Dugong dugon of the family Dugongidae!

Come and pass your undemanding eye

Over the paintings from the Gray Collection,

Here at our local gallery.

I know you will pause

At the Victorian child, pink muslin and ringlets,

Her giant St Bernard dog, its head huge on her lap.

I know in your great, grey, chamois-soft heart you understand,

The restful weight of trust,

The touch of small-fingered hands.



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