Anole Annals Poetry

Clockwise from bottom left: Keats, Dickenson, Frost, You

Dear readers,
Here are the poems submitted to the Anole Annals Poetry Competition. We’ve decided to forgo public voting and merely list them for your enjoyment. For (to paraphrase), “poems are like gossamer, and one does not dissect gossamer.” Read on…

In alphabetical order by author (with notes in italics):




This seemed like a much better use of my time than writing a lecture for Friday:
An Anole Limerick:

There once was an anole from Jamaica
Who said, “you won’t leave, so I’ll make ya”
And he bobbed his head
Until he was dead
Poor anole, it was just T. Ord tryin’ to fake ya.
ps. this poem does not have animal-care approval

This poem is inspired by the travails of searching for the elusive Phenacosaurus orcesi during a trip to Baeza, Ecuador last summer:
The phenacosaur awakens from dreams of juicy prey,
The volcano Antisana shines brightly in the day.
Perched on a twig, he rests safely assured,
“Those silly humans don’t know what they’re looking for!”

Skirting the road edges with trucks whizzing by,
No lizards in sight, oh! how time doth fly.
Binoculars in hand and scanning the brush,
The orcesi are hidden in the leaves so lush.

The day slips by till the moon rises high,
The time for finding an orcesi is nigh.
Alack! Alas! A lizard in sight!
But it’s only A. fitchii, try as we might.

Haiku about noise in behavioural data:
Running down to feed
Focal anole stops, displays.
Predictions be damned.

Haiku for my thesis:
Alpine lizard warm
Lonely sitting on a rock
Missing life on trees

Quatrain inspired by some anoles I saw fighting in Guadeloupe:
Noiseless among the wild brush anoles fight –
Jaws interlocked, poised to meet the maker,
Loser weak and weary stumbles from sight,
While the victor gets all the… cloac-er?

2 haikus about herpetologists influencing anole names…
williamsi! strahmi!
No we didn’t start the fire.
bremeri! wattsi!

shrevei gundlachi!
garridoi witemani!
woodi websteri!

Limerick based on A. cristatellus’ invasion of Florida:
There once was an anole from San Juan
Who saw bugs on a boat and hopped on.
He set up a new home in Miami
And the closeness to home was uncanny.
“Wow,” he thought, “Now I’ll never be gone!”

A haiku based on how signals key into the neural sensitivities of the senses:
Silent serenade
A chorus of dewlappers
Visual music

Poe named an anole
Ponder, weak, weary.

Perched on a warm day,
Dewlap dewlap dewlap dew –
Blackbird predation.

Dewlap and Toepad.
Adaptive Radiation.
Key Innovations?

About Yoel Stuart

I am interested in whether, how, and why ecology shapes evolution (and evolution shapes ecology) through time, with an emphasis on microevolutionary pattern and process, adaptation, and field experiments. I completed my Ph.D. on Anolis lizards in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. I am currently a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Texas, Austin studying threespine stickleback. They're not anoles, but they're cool too.

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