Treasure Island

Jay Mandeville

(February 16 / Kansas City, Missouri USA)


Through storm and sun
a stone slab preserves
the impression of
an antediluvian fish
in the Jardin des Plantes.
The naturalist Agassiz
half-dreaming half-awake
traces the fish's primeval outline
in the darkness beside his bed.
Mysterious characteristics
invisible on the fossil in daylight
are easily located by special
lenses beneath his closed eyelids
that the naturalist focuses
only at night, only while dreaming.
Fully awake Agassiz returns to
the Jardin and chisels away
on the slab, soon uncovering
the hidden attributes he saw
his visionary fish possess
now dreamt into the stone.

Submitted: Thursday, May 24, 2012

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True story

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  • Diane Hine (5/30/2012 12:21:00 AM)

    Amazing discoveries made by serendipity or a unique insight- who knows.
    Just briefly looked him up. Interesting, controversial life.
    I like the poem a lot! (Report) Reply

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