N is for the Nautilus, the poets’ inspiration,
Who grows his spiral shell
(And does it very well)
Because he finds it useful in the matter of flotation—
Not for the sake of Art:
Art is the poets’ part.


O for the humble Oyster—
Have you ever seen a poet
Roaming through his ivory cloister
Writing verses for the Oyster?
(If you had seen one, you’d know it.)


P is for the Panther, who
Would like to make a lunch of you.
That’s why we keep her in a cage:
So you can live to turn the page.


Q for the Quaggas, whose comical name
Would bring them a measure of popular fame,
Except for one fact that I weep to relate:
The last Quagga died back in 1908.
(Oh, all right, I admit it—I made up the date.)