• By Brian Yapko

Jungle Dance


Jungle Orchid and Hummingbird - Martin Johnson Heade (1872)

Insects buzzing, feathers flapping, rumbles

Of hungry mammal-mouths demanding meat;

Decay and sticky leaves, a monkey tumbles

Through humid, heavy air. There is a beat

Of drums, a smell of sacred smoke and Hsssssss!

A snake ascends its vertebrae to spy

A hunter camouflaged against its kiss.

They freeze and stare, each with fiery eye;

They cry, embrace, entwined in mortal hate

As primal passions, eons old, escape

And fill the jungle and the world. They mate

In frantic, pulsing death. Oh, the brutal shape

Of this ancient round is e’er the cursed course

Of cruel Earth as warring force meets force.


BrianYapko practices law but would rather be a poet. Although he has produced a distressing amount of legal writing, in mitigation Brian has also written a large body of poetry (one recently published), two children's plays (both published), several short stories and is presently hard at work on his first science fiction novel. Brian lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his husband Jerry and their canine child, Bianca.