Friday, 20 February 2015

Beauty and the beholder : Nature's miracles

We can’t stand them. We shrink away from them. We avoid and hate them. We recoil, wince, flinch and grimace when we see them. They are in fact, one of nature’s miracles. And it’s time we change our skewed perceptions towards these harmless creatures. They deserve it.

The crimson orb beats down on me,
I warily peek out of my tree,
My little paws possess a firm grip,
As I embark on my daily trip.

My long tail is prehensile,
You fail to notice, I have my own unique style,                  
No matter what you think, I have no guile,
True, I’m an intriguing arboreal reptile...

My languorous eyes rotate at 180 degrees,
I can spot insects on two opposite trees,
You now know about my amazing eyesight,
Yes, I can even see in ultraviolet light!

You think my colour change seems impressive
when vultures hunt me for food...
My skin tints when I’m angry or aggressive
Behold my vibrant hues, that vary according to my mood.

Try and hold out a cricket to me,
He won’t get away, try as he might,
My long tongue needs just 0.07seconds,
to flick him right out of your sight.

I’m as good as any creature can get,
Thanks to which I’m caught and sold...
And I finally die as a captive pet,
When I’m around ten years old...

Why do you cringe when u witness me?
Have I done you any harm?
Don’t I rid you of those annoying insects,
that make mincemeat of your arm?

I do have feelings, believe it or not,
When you refuse to see my agony
I have learned to live with it, though it hurts me a lot,
For I’m a mere reptile, Mother Nature’s irony...

Give me my due and my joy shall reach its echelon,
For I'm a stunning and exquisite creation, the Chameleon.

Picture courtesy :


  1. Eloquently written..This poemof yours changed my perspective.

  2. Beautiful stuff, Chetu.....Didnt even know there was a poet in you....You have GREAT command over the language.....

    Probably if I tried writing a poem.....wouldnt get past a line.....

  3. Love this Chets - going to use it to teach Mahika/Mihir about chameleons! So much information presented so well.

  4. Thank you guys! Humbled by your praise...

  5. Sudhi...inspired to pen more...thanks!

  6. Teju...thank you, hope Mahika and Mihir like the's not just kids that need to learn about them, most of us are rather clueless about many amazing creatures...

  7. Vandu, thank you...feels good to have converted a hard-core reptile hater...

  8. The poem truly makes one pause and often do we not cringe at the accidental encounter of the reptile in picture ? How often don't we forget that every single creature is born from Mother Nature's womb just the way we all human beings were born? Yet we fear and dread and despise them while in reality they have more to fear for their lives from the dangers that we pose for them. Yet quite oblivious they are to our feelings at the sight or mere thought of them, and they go about serving the purpose nature has entrusted to them. Now it makes me shudder more to think of being amidst selfish human beings alone in a world devoid of all these creatures...surely that thought is more fearful than the fear of the reptile itself. Thanks for opening our eyes by way of this poem...

  9. Wow! You ve summed up my poem just the way I'd wanted every reader to! Thats a great review Rum!
    Thanks a ton!

  10. Many aversions are a result of neural hard wiring - my kid refused to touch a non-venomous snake in our local nature center until she was 3 and could be made to understand that it was safe. I'm guessing all insects/reptiles fall into the ugh category for our brains.

  11. A highly engaging and informative article.Thanks for sharing, Teju. Interesting stuff about the 'pulvinar'...and yes, snakes are definitely a different breed that warrants caution...their chameleon cousins suffer the repercussions of association of course...

  12. I 'd like to add that Mahi has the kinda mum who allows minimum manifestation of senseless aversions...kudos gal!