Black Petals Issue #76 Summer, 2016

Honey Island Swamp Monster
Mars-News, Views and Commentary
Anniversary-Fiction by A. M. Stickel
Flirting with the Alley-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Gone Astray-Fiction by Denis Bushlatov
Surviving Montezuma-Serialized Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
The Road-Fiction by Walter Kwiatkowski
The Watchers-Fiction by Mike Mulvihill
Honey Island Swamp Monster-Poem by Richard Stevenson
Skin Walker-Poem by Richard Stevenson
Ucu-Poem by Richard Stevenson

Honey Island Swamp Monster

Richard Stevenson


Deep in the boggy bayou

of the Honey Island Swamp,

a Louisiana booger bigger

than a Bigfoot tromps through

the fetid fen. Water moccasins

and gators don’t give him any grief.

He’d as soon eat as greet ‘em,

and there ain’t no fruit or root

beyond his opposing thumb and finger reach.


He don’t mess with tools or cutlery,

and he ain’t particular about what he eats—

fish or fowl, roots or berries, small mammals—

even ill-informed, intrepid humans—

anything raw and ready—or stupid enough

to cross his path, will end up in his belly.

Still, he’s shy and retirin’; don’t want

no truck with us, let alone a cameo

or featured spot on yer flat screen telly.


He’s mostly known by his three-toed

footprints and his horrid shriek.

Get closer, though, and you’ll know him

soon enough by his awful reek.

It’ll curl yer toes, clear yer nose,

make yer eyes water for a week.

Ain’t no one caught a specimen yet,

let alone filled his arse with lead.

He’s too clever, his sense of smell acute.


So if yer expectin’ a photo op,

want him to pose for y’all

gnawin’ on a ham hock or stuffin’

his gullet with some nuts or berries,

forget it. You’ll be lucky to catch

his hairy butt bookin’ it through

the trees. Ain’t about to bow or scrape,

let alone mug with his arm around

some ingrate tourist on a toot.

Leave him alone; he’ll leave you alone.

Follow him? …You’ll end up staying

for dinner—as the steak tartar.


The guy who took all the plaster casts

and got hair samples from the trees

tracked him deeper into the swamp

than most folks have ever been.

We ain’t seen hide nor hair of him,

never mind his boat or clothes.

The booger musta torn him to bits

and used the wood to floss his teeth.

Didn’t so much as find a handful

of booger scat; don’t expect we ever will.

That’s the long and short of it, though

we do have some skunk funk

hair samples, books, and photos for sale…

Richard Stevenson,, wrote BP #76’s poems, “Honey Island Swamp Monster,” “Skin Walker,” and “Ucu.” From a series called Cryptid Shindig, the poems from this collection concern cryptid encounters, ET lore, or unexplained phenomena; others have appeared in three published volumes in the series: Why Were All the Werewolves Men? (Thistledown Press, 1994), Nothing Definite Yeti (Ekstasis Editions, 1999), Take Me to Your Leader! (Bayeux Arts Inc., 2003), and in a New & Selected volume called Bigfoot Boogie. Just retired from a thirty-year gig teaching English and Creative Writing at Lethbridge College, the poet has published thirty books in that time, counting a forthcoming volume. His most-recently published books are haikai poetry collections: Fruit Wedge Moon (Hidden Brook Press, 2015) and The Heiligen Effect (Ekstasis Editions, 2015).

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