IN DARWIN’S MIND


(Galapagos, 1835)


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