Chameleon

Chameleonidae

Peculiar, the scaly turret eyes
of the chameleon, swivelling
backwards and forwards independently,
projecting into his lizard brain

two sets of images. Yet in attack
he’s got the right coordinates to guide
the range and compass of his tight-coiled tongue –
he picks his prey off with a single lunge.

And I too have a variable eye
which looks – looks round – looks past – looks through,
according to my mood and appetite.
At times it verges on reptilian –

predatory, training sight on
the main chance, or given to hard stares
at what is contrary and alien,
or seems to call for a snap judgment.

– David Morphet 2004