An Interesting Ancestry
To some of us, a tortoise lives on land
while turtles only rarely leave the sea.
‘Chelonians' applies to any brand,
so here I'll use this terminology.
Land dwellers share aquatic ancestry
and most of us decided to stay put.
Chelonians agreed to disagree.
A flippered revolution was afoot.
A late Triassic turtle fossil shows
a hard-shelled belly plate and softer back,
presumably to ward off fatal blows
from deeper-dwelling predators' attack.
Did top shell metaphorically ‘dissolve'
when full-shelled forebear sought the sea's embrace?
Or did an unshelled forebear's shell evolve
in oceanic pilgrimage retrace?
Genetic sleuthing points to latter case.
The evidence suggests that once again,
the tortoise forebears left their liquid space
and plodded (swam?) to shore with sigh, 'amen'. *
From sea to shore to sea to shore once more.
You'd surely think a record lies therein.
Yet maybe making not three trips but four
is water loving cousin terrapin.
When next you gaze with love in tortoise eyes
and wonder at his mind's soliloquy,
from languid, longing looks you may surmise,
he's pondering ‘To sea or not to sea'.
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Poet's Notes about The Poem
Comments about this poem (An Interesting Ancestry by Diane Hine )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)
(15 April 1958)
- 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Tonight I can write the saddest lines, Pablo Neruda
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- QUARTER! 2015 Australian Open: Djokovic .., Vincent Wendele
Poem of the Day
- Esprit de corps, Naveed Khalid
- Almost A Decade, Rimni chakravarty
- A Visit To Your Home Amongst A Field of .., Frank James Ryan Jr...FjR
- The Cavern by the Sea, Martha Lavinia Hoffman
- Of The Second Presage..., Frank James Ryan Jr...FjR
- A Smile!, Avinash Nair
- mGIC TREE, oskar hansen
- innocence, abdirahman haaji rilwaan
- MOST LIVING PEOPLE, Michael P. Johnson
- Beautiful rose, Andytics mufc