In the fetid dark,
slack jawed and vacant eyed,
they hunch
hiding from the sun.
They have lost their power of speech –
reduced to inarticulate
hooting and howling.

I can tempt them with food,
lure them out,
to watch them
grunting and guzzling,
blinking in the light.

But they quickly retreat,
hands and mouths full,
leaving a trail
of peels and wrappers –
back into their lair,
where they hunch again,
the blue screen-light
reflecting from their faces.

For my boys – lost to their laptops.

At least until I sneak into their rooms and hide them while they’re asleep. Probably around midday. 


Filed under poem

7 responses to “Troglodytes

  1. Ha! Nicely done and quite fun! The devolution of man. You know, Three Trogs and a Hog sounds like it would be a fun children’s story. 🙂

    • That’s an excellent title for a story! I haven’t tried to write a story for kids before – but I really like the intellectual exercise of trying to write in different genres. Fiction is really hard after textbooks, but poetry is a smaller step. Maybe a kids story is a good next move. Want to collaborate?
      Devolution: I’ve noticed most of my male colleagues getting progressively hairier over the months of lockdown.

      • I haven’t even read a children’s book since I can’t remember when, so I doubt I would be of much use trying to write one, but thanks. I just thought that sounded like a fun title for you to use, and you have the subjects of said title for research. It doesn’t have to be fiction. I think some of your poetry lends itself to a story. 🙂 Poetry is my creative escape from a technical job.

        • Poetry is an escape from the technical for me too. I suspect the discipline of writing “to order” in short sentences against syllabus dot points helps prevent me from rambling too much in the poetry, while at the same time it means I need this other medium so I can ramble a bit.

          I have a start for “three trogs and a hog”:

          Three trogs and a hog
          set out walking one day and
          got lost in the fog.

          I thought I might try to do the whole thing in haiku with A and C rhyming. Feel free to throw in the next stanza/page. 🙂

        • Looks like you have a god start. 🙂 I really am not good at this, so I wouldn’t know where to go. But I can see truffles and llama poo somehow appearing.

      • All the places for haircuts were closed, so unless you shave your head you start to look straggly, in a devolutionist way. “Are we not men? We are Devo!” 🙂

        • It’s not the hair, it’s the beards! Every one of them looks like he’s trying to swallow a hedgehog. I found it hilarious when at the start of COVID in Canberra essential workers included public servants and hairdressers. Harking back to our ancestors who arrived on the B Ark…

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