The Alkali Lake Monster
cryptids stink. What with
mod cons or hot running water –
greatest invention, my wife says –
sweat, get decaying plant matter
up in their fur or between scales…
where the heck is a three-
foot serpent cryptid gonna
a back brush long enough
scrub his neck, never mind get
hard-to-reach spots? Nowhere!
other side of some antediluvian
portal – maybe. Our guy’s
them all beat: his reek is lethal!
be hobnobbin’ in his ‘hood
a gas mask, dude, or yer worm food!
right! He doesn’t have to fart:
gone if you get so much as a whiff,
puff… . A quiff would probably
as a mist and corrode yer hide.
wouldn’t even get a chance to drown
he hauled you off to his piscine
reptilian parlour for dinner. Let that
in yer noggin before you start hangin’
drum bobbers and cable in some
scheme to catch the beast.
ain’t even a feast for this
critter! Just a little fritter,
a hand of fries.
gas you and have you half
down his long gullet lickety split!
so, he hasn’t shown himself
in recent decades. Maybe succumbed
his own foul aroma or got a fish bone
in his throat, choked, finally bit it.
we even have a decent guess what
was before our bipedal kind started
big boats or snagged his kids
six-pack plastic chokers or tiaras?
he skedaddled back to the sea.
point chasing herring up-steam
he’s gonna run into our toxic kind.
to boot it back to the deep sea;
when there aren’t so many boats about –
no one with a gas mask and cell phone!
Stevenson recently retired from a 30-year teaching gig at Lethbridge College
and is in the process of selling his house in Lethbridge and moving to Nanaimo,
BC. His most recent publications are Rock, Scissors, Paper: The Clifford
Olson Murders (2016) and A Gaggle of Geese (2017).
Dachshund! and An Abominable Swamp Slob Named Bob are forthcoming.