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Tom's Poetry

Christmas Haiku

SteelJaw & LittleGuy

Doug and Foster was out renovatin an old house.
They was strippin paint
    while the owner went out to the grocery store,
and left his 2 pet lizards behind.

The one lizard -- his name was SteelJaw.
He was a big lizard with buggy eyes --
    3 feet long and kinda fat.
His buddy was called LittleGuy --
a slim lizard
    with a long narrow snout
    kinda like a pair of tweezers.

Now Doug’d rolled up the carpet
    and Foster’d been layin down newspaper
when them 2 lizards
    wandered into the room.
Doug and Foster stopped what they was doin
    and took a lizard-playin break.

SteelJaw -- he was wrapped up
    in a tight-fittin light-brown leather bodysuit
    which kept his claws covered,
       and it was sewn closed over his mouth,
       keepin shut his saw-like metal canines,
       because the owner didn’t want him hurtin nobody.
Only his eyes showed thru,
    but they was still all full of playfulness.
And LittleGuy -- like a dumb little dog --
    he just frantically ran around, yip-yippin.

Now Doug was pettin SteelJaw,
    and he says,
       "this don’t make no sense.
       Looks like SteelJaw here can barely breathe."

So Foster goes and gets a pencil from the toolbox,
    figurin he’ll make some airholes for SteelJaw.
Then Foster bends down
    and grabs SteelJaw’s snout,
    and SteelJaw is just starin up at him
    -- maybe kinda friendly
    -- maybe just kinda scared.

Foster, he just points that pencil at a nostril,
    and holdin SteelJaw tight,
    he pushes it right thru
    and makes a breathin hole.
Then he wiggles that pencil loose
    and pokes it thru the other nostril.

Then Foster gets up
    with a proud satisfaction,
while Doug just stands
       and slowly nods approval.

Well then
    all of a sudden
SteelJaw’s wrigglin his nose
       and sniffin and snortin,
and them nose holes keep gettin bigger and bigger
till the stitchin comes loose,
and the mouth rips open
       on SteelJaw’s leather bodysuit.

This gets SteelJaw all excited,
    and he’s just bitin at the air
    -- showin off his shiny stainless metal teeth.
LittleGuy squirms all around SteelJaw’s legs
    because they’re friends and
       it’s lookin time to play.

Now SteelJaw, he decides
    he really likes these 2 guys, Doug and Foster,
so he jumps up on them,
    still bitin the air with his sharp metal teeth,
    all in unthinkin, frenzied fun,
    like a dog waggin it’s tail.

And Foster, with a big lizard all on top of him,
    he decides he don’t want his hand chewed off,
so he goes and sticks the pencil in
    to prop open SteelJaw’s mouth,
    but SteelJaw chomps down on it,
    and the pencil, it just shatters into splinters,
then SteelJaw’s bitin down on Foster’s hands,
    all gentle and friendly-like,
       but that don't mean it don't scratch,
       and that don’t mean it don’t hurt just a little bit.

So Doug jumps over
    and tries to hold shut SteelJaw’s mouth,
    and it ain’t easy because SteelJaw thinks
       he’s playin some kind of game.
And Foster goes and grabs some twine.
And they wrap shut SteelJaw’s mouth,
and they fall back, sittin on the floor
       and take a breather.

While they’re breathin,
SteelJaw’s starin at his snout
    and tryin to brush off the twine
       with his 2 front paws,
but them paws are covered in leather,
    and they don’t quite work.
So SteelJaw, he’s lookin kinda sad.
And LittleGuy, he’s just kinda quizzical,
    lookin back and forth at everybody.

So then finally
    SteelJaw wanders sadly out the room,
and LittleGuy trails behind him.
They both look back,
    hopin somebody still wants to play,
but Doug and Foster, they get back up
    and start strippin more paint from the walls.

When the owner gets back,
    he’s pleased with their progress,
    and he brings some donuts back for them,
because he’s a good man
    and friendly-like,
    and he don’t ask no questions about the twine.

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(C) 1/23/95 Tom Brinck