IN DARWIN’S MIND
From unfathomable depths
like cinder cones uplifted by a
fiery tidal floor, the thought flew skyward,
caught the light, skimmed feather-edged across
black lava beds and sulfur vents
his hobnail boots crunched tentatively
by: This land is new – might all its
living oddities be new as well?
What force could split a blue-foot diver
nesting on dry ground from red-foot cousins
squawking on bent sticks above?
What curved the beaks of mockingbirds
a fraction more than those on neighbor isles,
so puzzlingly re-measured on his long
sail home? He could not see these islets
marching by inches towards the east
as new ones rose behind, repeating
speciation on a global scale
and took three decades more to plumb that
five-day tour of hatchlings murdering
for life, and ocean mother of islands,
and change the mother of all.
Yet never really left the razor cliffs
and blue lagoons where first he glimpsed –
then fiercely as a hawk pursued
past pinnacles and comforting belief –
the infinite branched fingers
of a ceaselessly evolving god.
First published in 2018 Mizmor ("Melody") Anthology, Poetica