Soft waters wash across the wide reach
of shell-strewn tidal shore. Small wonders
urge plodding through sucking mud.
Monstrous and miraculous fellow
creatures wallow in twice-daily stranding,
subject to lunar rule.
Awash, await and abide the ills
that sun, and dogs, and gulls
can do; or become
perhaps a sacrifice to the
of naked curiosity.
Plucked as lightly from the sand alive
as remnants left by doomed companions,
read as chapters in a history
unmeasured by time’s rod;
these are ancestors here rudely grasped
by their inquisitive descendants.
Hope for them now lies in their simplicity,
variety and number; features not of each,
but of their kinds and worlds.
Peruse the scripture on an oyster’s shell,
behold the drama in the train of a horseshoe crab.