Zoologist, media consultant, and science writer, Dr Karl Shuker is also one of the best known cryptozoologists in the world. Author of such seminal works as Mystery Cats of the World (1989), The Lost Ark: New and Rediscovered Animals of the 20th Century (1993; greatly expanded in 2012 as The Encyclopaedia of New and Rediscovered Animals), In Search of Prehistoric Survivors (1995), and more recently Extraordinary Animals Revisited (2007), Dr Shuker's Casebook (2008), Karl Shuker's Alien Zoo: From the Pages of Fortean Times (2010), Cats of Magic, Mythology, and Mystery (2012), and Mirabilis: A Carnival of Cryptozoology and Unnatural History (2013), his many fans have been badgering him to join the blogosphere for years. The CFZ Blog Network is proud to have finally persuaded him to do so.

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Friday, 11 September 2009


Jon at CFZ Press tells me that my poetry book, Star Steeds and Other Dreams, could well be out by the end of this month, so here, as a taster, is one of its poems, in which I portray the Mesoamerican deity Quetzalcoatl in his feathered serpent guise. As a contrast, the above photo, of a statuette purchased by me a few years ago in Tijuana, Mexico, depicts him in his human form.

The concept of Quetzalcoatl – an Aztec serpent god adorned with feathers rather than scales, and gifted with the ability to soar majestically through the heavens without needing wings – is one that has long fascinated me, so it was inevitable that sooner or later I would attempt to capture the wonder of this spectacular reptilian deity in verse.


Green feathered serpent like Heaven's liana,
Plumes of bright malachite, jasper, and jade,
Furled in rich flourishes, dazzling in glory,
Verdurous rays borne on emerald blades.

And, as you gleam in your jewel-clustered temple,
Coils gliding over your tributes of gold,
Ruby eyes glow with the flames of the cosmos,
Deadly yet passionate, blazing but cold.

Now, as your lightning-forked tongue flickers brightly,
Sibilant breath hissing softly and long,
Bowing before you in rapt veneration
Kneel your disciples in reverent throngs.

Yet, do you laugh at these weak, puny mortals,
Scuttling like ants in the fire of your gaze,
Shielding their eyes in the depths of your shadow –
Turquoise and terrible, willing their praise?

Quetzalcoatl – ophidian idol,
Soaring through Space like a radiant stream.
Aztec divinity, ageless, eternal –
Incarnate god, or a deified dream?


  1. That's pretty darn impressive.

    -Tina Sena

  2. Hi Tina, Thanks very much for your kind words! Glad you like it. All the best, Karl