An Interesting Ancestry Poem by Diane H

An Interesting Ancestry

Rating: 4.8


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'.

POET'S NOTES ABOUT THE POEM
* over many generations obviously
COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Pradip Chattopadhyay 18 April 2012

A struggled and changing adaptation, never belonging to anywhere forever, ever searching for anchorage....an outstanding event simply put.

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Valerie Dohren 18 April 2012

Very well written - and interesting. Another good one Diane.

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Danny Draper 19 April 2012

I did see once the nub of a feather on a turtle's flipper and now know why, perhaps their next peregrination will be to the sky. Fine poem.

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Sharad Juneja 20 April 2012

A different and unique idea.. u did all the justice..beautifully written

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Patti Masterman 04 May 2012

There is such thought and deepness behind your poetry that I am always amazed.

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Lyn Paul 05 June 2014

Words moving towards a documentary. You always keep us thinking Diane

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Heather Wilkins 01 September 2013

very interesting a good write sets us to thinking

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Pink Butterfly ... 27 August 2013

An interesting little tale... warm, clever and tender. God bless you!

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Janet Budd 08 January 2013

You are very witty. I like! ! ! ! I wonder how we'll evolve? A lot of us have shells already, invisible shells, impenetrable shells.

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Owain Glyn 12 December 2012

These creatures are not exactly famous for their perambulatory speed, maybe that goes for their decision making prowess too.

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