David Jalajel


     “Human interests cannot be the be-all and end-all of an ecopoem.”
     - John Shoptaw  


Imprinting’s essential — 
Don’t be neglectful.

How fast it grows up! 
All of a sudden, baby time’s 

lossy compression is over 
and it’s stomping off.

It handles so smoothly, 
makes the tightest 

of turns, 
and slams takedowns 

like a BOSS. 
Nurture it.


Too lazy to construct a parachute?
My guess is you’re way too lazy 

to spend half the day drifting down, 
gripping this aigrette. Am I right?

You think you simply wear it 
like you do your vulture? 

Or your monkey? No, it’s not fitted out 
as a shoulder perch. You have to hold it 

over your head, tying up your hands 
until you drop it. What you can do? 

Slap a model C transponder to it; 
make it skim redwoods for sap.


The boringest flying dinosaur. 
Not so strong. Not too fast.

(Not so good at farming.)
True, its neck supports 

your pouncing on carnivores. 
(It’s neck predates 

that ol’ vulture hook). 
But if your victims twist 

on its swoop-and-grab, 
they’ll shred its belly in flight. 

And yet — it does satisfy that brute 
human need for wyverns.


She’d rock everything, 
everywhere. You’d check out: 

her fast-heal, her stun attack, 
her aquatic force-multiplier. 

And I always took her with me, 
collecting pearls. 

She was quick on her feet 
(what with her all-island 

light-clomping deportment)  
and stunning at sea. 

Then she nipped rex’s ankles. 
More’s the pity.


Eternally doing the Naruto run,
how great it’d be for Area 51.

Goaded by relentless innocence, 
it pants across the flat, clear plains.

So climb up high onto a boulder, 
or get the carno stuck somewhere. 

Yeah, it craves ceaseless stamina boosts 
and runs on and on like an obsessive-

compulsive rex… and its arms sure look 
like they’ve been through a blender…

but unless you’re craving the same, 
you’d best leave it chasing jerboas.


Here’s the chihuahua 
of the dinosaur world.

Pinch it in its little face 
and feed it prime meat.

Cute, weird, and stupid; 
it’s the whole package. 

And aren’t its babies, like,
totally microscopic?

If you get overwhelmed 
fending off a frisky pack, 

go brandish your torch
at them. Burn them alive.



No, it’s not another “uber-chicken”, 
nor yet again a “chicken on steroids”.

This dude’s the mother of all dodos.
I’d call it a discount rock drake  —

if it wasn’t such a pain in the arse to get.
So let’s just call it a “limited-edition 

rock drake” and leave it at that. It’s
as if a drake and a raptor had a kid, 

and said kid then banged a microraptor. 
This’d be the end result: the “Walmart 

Raptor”. (But it’s so O-P, you’d think 
the raptor was the Walmart version.)


Your standard substitute
for a human being:

It doesn’t know you. 
It’ll single you out, 

and it WILL find you.
Then it’ll spit on you.

It won’t understand you. 
Give it a wrong look — 

it’ll get nervous. Then
it’ll bite. Then it’ll barf 

all over you, because it
just can’t cope with you.


The quintessential flightless dinosaur: 
pretty pet, mascot — and great bait.

Hatch some eggs; gather up the chicks. 
Each fluffball yields a hefty chunk of meat.

Or force-feed it. What other dino’s
oviparity is pegged to its shitting? 

A trusty alarm? Set it to “aggressive”. 
Hear it FREAK at the slightest move.

Toss it to distract a foe. Fasten C-4
to its beak and send it waddling. 

(Infect it for a nifty bioweapon.)
Such cute cooing… melts your heart.


Rev her up and slam ‘em. 
Vroom off… then cry: “Meep Meep.”

Watch ‘em rage. 
Sock her in the kisser? — 

you’re swinging at a dust cloud…
but lasso her real good –

and sure enough, you’ve 
nabbed yourself a Lamborghini.

Once you’ve got her running, 
they’ll never catch you –  

that is, until they sic 
their coyote on her.


Housetrained? When giga 
rages, it bites 

everyone, no matter 
that it’s tame.

It’s eyes will 
craze. There’s shite 

you can do, just 
hide and pray.

It’ll gulp you down,
utterly helpless. Or... 

Lace up those trainers.
Race past your herbivore.


Force-feed this dino dead fish, 
and it’ll lay a duck egg — 

or lay you that golden egg.
You’ve gotta gorge it on a ton of fish 

before it settles down on land 
to lay you that egg. 

So lasso it, tie it to your boat, 
then skim it over the sea. 

Make it eat the fish it kills.
(It’ll think you’re feeding it.)

Did I mention this little dinosaur 
will keep your lake piranha free?


I’ll admit it. I’ve had the pleasure 
of befriending that bird.

The little hoax prioritises
my every vulgar wish.

Popular opinion aside, there’s 
no denying she’s toothsome 

(serrated beak and all). Yeah, 
she’ll vamoose soon as you 

tame her. But don’t sweat it. 
She’ll keep yielding up her gifts.

Just duck for cover
when you hear that dino dive.


Hwæt! Penguins not yielding 
polymer? Yet so affable — 

you’d love to let them live.
But that’s not how this works. 

It’s not tame and gather. It’s 
kill and collect. You farm 

their blubber. You get at them 
with a trusty bludgeon. 

But their fevered bodies make 
a glorious live heater. 

Snuggle them close 
on those long iceberg nights. 


When your inner (brutal, cute and fluffy) 
demon activates at midnight... when your

sleeping beauty starts slumbering in caves 
and napping near the Greenland cliffs

but suffers from insomnia in bioluminescence...
that’s when it’s fun to shake it awake. 

Like, it’s so adorable with sleep deprivation —
a spawn of sluggish fear and vertiginous death.

(I spent 8 hours taming one, and all it does 
is doze all day. So, you’ve basically got a cat.)

But while it may be sweet curled up asleep,
rouse it, and it’ll make you its chew toy.


Know what? Malignancy’s got wings. I was 
taming a bee, shoving purple flowers up her arse, 

minding my own business, when 
this thing zeroes in like a terrorist-country cruise missile. 

I saw it coming, barely managed to dodge. That little shit 
screeched on till it slammed into the ground. So… 

so what do you get when you breed a turkey 
with a honey badger and pump it full of meth and ‘roids? 

You get a stunning, hateful peacock with anger issues
towards any fool who’d saddle up a dino ride. 

So I use mine as a live flashbang (well, minus the bang) 
and wallop the cal-vary. It’s shock and awe.


These little studs are real smooth with the ladies.
The bitches lay more eggs when they’re around.

They named it “egg stealer” due to ancient bones,
but we now know it was protecting its eggs, so...

So, oviraptors are paedophiles! So find one, run
it down and kill it, or it’ll come for your kids.

If you steal a cow’s eggs from her, she’ll go mad 
and kill everything in sight, starting with you.

(I lured her in by taking her egg. Knocked her out. 
Fed her that egg. Now I’m rolling in the huevos.)

Anchor your bull to a fertilised clutch. If it’s got 
experience, there’s a double chance of triplets!


Award-winning, jumbo 
stork/pelican combo 

and fierce flying dino to boot.
Don’t have a fishing pole? 

No problem. Stun this bird.
Plop it onto your raft. 

Then straddle it, 
glide it over the deep — 

Plunge its head right down.
Make it kill. 

Make it plunder.
Watch the fish roll in.


Near the beach they said, 
it’ll be safer there they said...

Gather fish. (It’s strangely
smitten by spawning fish.)

Pump it with oxygen. (You must
go snorkelling with this.)

Try and skim across some fish.
(It gets distracted by fish.)

I’d choose this classic ATV
over a rex any day. 

It’s fish-obsessed, no doubt, but it
works marvels at the beaver dam.

Terror Bird

That’s no giant dodo you’re working, no
poultry on andro doing odd tricks.

No — it’s THE dino-raptor, grinding air,
going fast ‘n’ furious on open ground,

giving all its got with what wings it has
— in a flappingly furious free-fall. 

Get a swift, spry, land-roving dino,
while enjoying a flyer’s maneuverability. 

It’s the funnest thing you’ll ever drive. 
Want more excitement? 

Saddle it up. Now bound down 
a mountain. Watch those wing-dings go!


Not as nice as he used to be on Sesame Street.
Remember those years of suppressed PTSD 

from Tickle Monster when you were small?
They all come rushing back at you. At once.

Death turkey. Fear turkey. Pagan harvest
gravy turkey. Freddy Kruger turkey… Big Bird

is a sadist. He gets off by cutting you 
where it hurts… Wolverine turkey-lurkey.

Get a frog to jump over his head. Erect 
7 pillars in a moon shape and set a big 

bear trap inside. Lure him in. Drop pillar 8. 
Light a candle, close your eyes, and pray.


It’s a crypto-breed, 
but a killer species — 

so you must let it kill 
the ones you love.

Send it your sacrifices 
through the long night

(yes, babies and adults 
die equally well),

but sedate them. Bleed 
them. Weaken them first.

Don’t let your victims 
fight for their lives.


With a much-needed makeover, it stopped 
looking like a giant, scaly baby. Its roar 

moves beasts (humans especially) to shit themselves — 
(there’s a cooldown, so no cyclical poop-lock) 

— a roar to stoke fear in weak hearts and minds. 
(In other words, shitting as a brief stun/interrupt, 

as pause for thought.) T-rex is cool — the universal 
sign for “I’M A BADASS MOFO!” (its predilection 

for eating people notwithstanding). Bearing such 
symbolic weight, it wrestles with its dual nature 

as metaphysical baggage-drop and ravening monster.
You really need to keep your shit together.


Well, I’m big enough to admit when I’m wrong. 
But not to nit-pick, shouldn’t they 

be bigger? And taller? And they cannot!?! 
Open doors? Utter bullshit! 

(For some reason, they can’t beat turtles.) 
That breed stood taller than your 

average human. Measure yourself against one 
sometime. (If you see it fight a turtle, 

now that’s a lost cause.) The tail — 
okay, maybe it’s not quite so long as that, 

but I’d say the rest is pretty spot-on.
(Sill, they make halfway decent guard dogs)


Here’s my personal “must-have” 
apex shoulder mount – and your

all-inclusive pauper’s base defence. 
So what if you can’t feed it? 

Doesn’t it retrieves your kills for you? 
Let it strip some meat off your quarry. 

And if your flock’s not up to snuff, 
there’s always ornithocide. 

Day’s turned deadly? Throw it 
and run. I guarantee you, 9 times 

outta 10, it’ll return — victorious.
Your trusty buddy. Your hitman that flies.


Fluffy chicken rex of death. Here’s your sexier
T-rex. Indulge its cries and you’ll see why.

Shrieks like a little girl and your dinos scatter.
(Scared bitch-babies!) Then it eats you for fun.

Spams “courage” roars to buff its mates. It’s
a wickedly decked-out, mind-controlling badass.

If you catch one, tame it, pompoms and all.
(Don’t we need a cheerleader now and again.)

It’s the uber-poulet you mustn’t misjudge
(or underestimate its blistering sighs). So —

you’d snuggle up with that woollen bodice? 
Your parting sorrows will be warm and sweet.

David Jalajel is the author of Moon Ghazals (Beard of Bees Press, 2009), Cthulhu on Lesbos (Ahadada Books, 2011), a chapbook in Dan Waber’s This is Visual Poetry series (2013) and Rhyme & Refrain (University of the Western Cape, 2017). His work has appeared in a number of online and print journals, including Otoliths, Shampoo, experiential-experimental-literature, Recursive Angel, The New Post-Literate, Gulf Coast, Anti-, Lynx, Mizna, and Eclectica.
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