A poem of public liability and a conspiracy theory unravelled…In the Cornish town of Helston, home of The Floral Dance – a monster walks the streets.


A monster walks the streets of this town

And no, I don’t mean like Frankenstein’s.

It’s Helston’s own Town Centre Lizard

And I know because I’ve seen the signs.

Helston Lizard

Now I don’t profess to be expert

In the field of reptilian ways.

In fact even as a little boy

I missed out on that dinosaur phase.

My knowledge of reptiles is wanting

And like you I’m as much in the dark;

Not armpit deep in dinosaur shit

Like that Sam Neill in Jurassic Park.

This lizard must be something to see

To warrant such ‘in your face’ signage.

The need to forewarn at all suggests

A creature of sizeable tonnage.

Let’s be honest – size matters greatly.

It would hardly be a scary ‘un;

If the little blighter was contained

In a two foot square vivarium.

So it’s big but we need to know more

Regarding the nature of this beast.

I’m no David Attenborough, that’s true,

But there is one thing I know at least.

I’m often found driving through Helston;

That’s apart from the small hours of night

And I’ve yet to see its scaly hide.

It’s nocturnal. It doesn’t do light.

But where does it go during the day;

Does it spend the hours roaming old mines?

There’s got to be somewhere it slumbers

Or what would be the point of those signs.

2 sign

Maybe it sleeps in the boating lake…

You see what I’m thinking…Black Lagoon;

Dragging the boat and pedalo lines

As it emerges into the gloom.

Let’s hope its intentions are vegan;

There’s money to be made, if I’m right.

The tourists will flock in their thousands

To see Helston’s own monster each night.

They’re gonna be gutted in Scotland.

To be honest they must have some gall.

They’ve been coining it in with Nessie

And no-one’s ever seen her at all.

Assuming our cash cow is land-based;

Make it Flambards’ latest sensation.

All the gorse it ever could eat in

Its own custom-built habitation.

All these ideas are pie in the sky

If old ‘Helsie’s’ some kind of killer?

Times as they are; the last thing we need’s

A B movie Cornish Godzilla.

Now hang on that’s got me wondering…

It’s all smoke and mirrors and not good.

It might just be that while we’re asleep;

Helston’s runnels are flowing with blood



Is the local press in on this and…

If it’s hushed up then why put up signs?

3 sign

That’s it! They’re not there for direction

To aid the lost, bemused and weary.

It’s public liability and

Another conspiracy theory.

It seems that on entering Helston;

They’re legal disclaimers – a warning.

Street cleaners wait those meeting their fate

Whose remains are scraped up by morning.

So once more it’s down to the Council

We’ve no other plausible answers

Unless there is some place called Lizard?

There is? Oh…what were the chances?

© gray lightfoot

Hear Gray read the poem…