Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 1 (May 1, 1933)

The Crocodile

The Crocodile.

When I was young it fell to me
To doubt my own identity.
I doubted, in a murky mist,
Whether I really did exist;
But sharper than a two-edged sword
Came self-awareness, and I smile
To think how Ego was restored
Whene'er I met a crocodile.

That sounds as if I set my sail
Upon the Ganges; but I fear
I offer you no Traveller's Tale.
This crocodile shed not a tear,
Unless from some communal spring
Tears flow into a common pool.
The beast of my adventuring
Came forth from a young ladies' school.

Hard by a nascent hawthorn hedge
That girlies' school was situate.
I veered towards the pavement's edge
As did become my man's estate.
I did not wink, I did not stare,
But I vouchsafed a sickly smile,
Of inhibitions well aware,
Whene'er I met a crocodile.

Now I am old and weak and blind,
And walk abroad on sufferance
The erstwhile toy of womenkind,
The fugitive of circumstance.
But this is odd. Whate'er my fears
Of Nemesis I do not smile,
But thoughts arise too deep for tears
When e'er I meet a crocodile.

C. R. Allen.

page 48