Wednesday, December 9, 2009

ReadWritePoem post # 104


                     Sexual Selection

                    A nematode glides,
                    aimless, undulant, until he spies
                    a female opportunity,
                    then, excited, accurate, quick,
                    hot-wired for it.

                    On a broad leaf
                    fruit flies assemble,
                    displaying their greatest intentions,
                    she inspects these
                    contenders (for a week!)
                    One mating is all she gets                    
                    ever, but
no shortage of
                    healthy progeny --
                    good choice.

                    Echoing trills, moonlit
                    dances, aerial acrobatics,
                    erect feathers and
                    splendid blue faces,
                    peafowl, pheasant, penguin
                    all know what to look for, 
                    warbler, wolf, fox
                    better make good choices –
                    it's a mate for life.

                   Enlargement pills, trading,
                   selling, buying, cheating,
                   beating, addiction, abandonment,
                   pedophilia, murder –
                   you know the rest.
                   The species that exercises free will.

                                         Wanda McCollar


  1. Wow! It starts out so light-hearted and by the end my jaw had dropped! I love the sarcasm and message.

  2. My goodness, quit watching day time tv. Oops, doesn't matter, are soap operas imitating life or do humans imitate soaps? An, would other species be changed if we allowed them to view soaps with us? It's a conundrum, however your poem is an enjoyable journey from the smallest to the most aggressive forms that exercise the survival instinct.

  3. Cynthia,

    I'm delighted to hear your jaw dropped. Thanks! I realize this poem isn't a winner because it smiles as it leads you to the cliff-edge and pushes you off. Never good for audience rapport. But I'm glad someone got the message!

  4. I laughed at your idea, Donald. I would say the Soaps imitate life because I don't watch Soaps, or any TV. Those are my colleagues I'm talking about. (Just kidding.)
    Thanks for your comments.

  5. Gautami - yours is a very lovely, sensual poem, and I would comment on your site if only I knew how.

  6. Hi Wanda,

    Yes, this gives a salutory shock! But what about the female spider huh?

  7. Derrick, yeah, I forgot about her. What Freud called selective amnesia, I'm sure. Anyway - when she consumes her mate after intercourse, it's not free will. I'm sure she has no ulterior motive. I feel a Black Widow poem comng on

  8. You had me with the nematode. Who knew they were so sexy? I thought they only messed with the roots of my tomatoes. If you'd only wanted to write a sex poem, you could have stopped there.
    You build the tension with craft. The message begins with the fruit fly (one...ever)
    No, we're not very nice animals. A bit too successful at sex.

  9. I like the interplay of the title "Sexual Selection" with the notion of Natural Selection, Survival of the Fittest. The human is supposed to be the highest in evolution, but your poem puts humans as the lowest, the bottom of the poem. A cautionary tale. I think your grandchildren should read it!

  10. It's amazing we share the same DNA for the most part with the good old fruit fly. Great build up with the compulsory yin and yang from nature and ending with our out-of-balance mess.

  11. Wow, startling and true. Love that you presented nematodes.

  12. I really enjoyed your poem and the direction it took. I like how you began with simple organisms and worked your way up to more complex species with more complex issues. I love the imagery of the species you selected. Your poem has a nice cadence. Thanks for sharing this, Wanda!

  13. What a great presentation of the species, moving up the food chain.

  14. I like the hot wired nematodes.Who would have thought of insect sex!Different.

  15. Ha! I love this Wild Kingdom with the sly big bad cliff at the end. A surprise should be surprising. This is. And a wonderful observation from both levels within the poem. Precise images! Very well done.