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33: A mantis in Atlantis

Under the sea
Under the sea
Life is much better
Down where it’s wetter,
take it from me!*

I was strapped to a stool
facing a desk
on a concrete floor
under a hot light
Behind the desk sat a Mantis.
Unusually large (s)he was.
Triangular visage.
Opaque eyes.
Saw-toothed arms, chitinous wings.
Elbows on the desktop. (do they have elbows)
It wanted me to play the shell game.
With actual shells.
It lifted the centre shell
and placed a copper key underneath it.
I knew it would fit my locks.
With a whiz whiz here
and a whiz whiz there,
it stymied my eyes.
Then chittered out some tiny bubbles.
I was to pick.
Left-hand one: empty.
Right hand one: The key! I had done it!
Whereupon it raised up a grassy palm,
stopping my reach.
Pointed to the centre one.
I lift.
It’s me, miniature me. Runs around with a puny scream.
Mantis makes a grab. Stuffs mini me into mandibles.
Reaches out with saw-toothed arms…


Lee Dunn View All

Lee Dunn has been writing since the age of 18, but found that work got in the way for the ensuing 48 years. In his home town of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, he reveled in his independence at an early age, and spent as much time as he could exploring the city’s Arts scene. He was introduced to poetry and prose by the works of two literary giants, namely J.R.R. Tolkien and J.W. Lennon and thence fell in love with the written word. His work includes poetry, short fiction, and personal essays, and ranges in theme from the surreal to the horrific, nostalgic, and themes on the human condition. He has been published on, The Dark Poets Club, Journal of Undiscovered Poets, Crepe & Penn Literary magazine, and the Shelburne Free Press.

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