Terence George Craddock (Spectral Images and Images Of Light)

Great Beauty Past And Present - Poem by Terence George Craddock (Spectral Images and Images Of Light)

Think of all the great beauty
still remaining in this world...
on land beaches rivers mountains

at sea beneath the ocean waves
all the species of incredible fishes
uncounted diverse marine life

in the air birds the fliers
insects in their myriads
bats gliders like squirrels

once flying also were pterosaurs
155 million years of powered flight
found on every continent except

Antarctica yet with over sixty genera
discovered and flight skills equal
or exceeding birds (pterosaurs' had

massive flocculi, it occupied 7.5%
of total brain mass, far in excess of
all other vertebrate, birds flocculi 1

and 2% of total brain mass unusually
large flocculi; compared to other
animals, a science marvel, flocculus,

a brain region integrating signals
from skin, muscles, joints and
balance organs, sending out neural

signals to produce small, automatic
movements in eye muscles, to keep
the image on the pterosaurs' retina

steady; pterosaurs may have had
such a large flocculus because of
their large wing size, which would

mean that there was a great deal
more sensory information to
process) their preserved skeletons

must be fossilized in an iced Antarctica
that continent of huge undiscovered
fossilized marvels awaiting discovery

research new fossil discoveries paint
a fuller picture of an ancient lush past
secrets remain hidden in cold storage

98 percent of iced continent is covered
ice bound year-round by an ice layered
mass science will not penetrate probed

why laser tunneled depths publicly sealed
only a few islands along the Antarctic
Peninsula yield published finds recorded

authorities will tell you the first fossils
found were plesiosaurs marine reptiles
on Seymour Island in 1982; a hadrosaur

on James Ross Island in 1986, this first
dinosaur fossil, an ankylosaur, a duck-
billed dinosaur, first large plant eaters

found outside the Americas proving
proving; the continents past tropical
or temperate climate and vegetation

but what discoveries in Byrd Expedition?
(secret diary flights to land beyond poles)
on the sides of Mt. Weaver fossil plants

coal beds at South Pole within 200 miles
formed, by plants growing in profusion,
Ernest Shackleton reported coal proves;

past swampy areas, the growth of enough
plants, to produce an observed bed of coal
unknown wonders remain to be unearthed

Copyright © Terence George Craddock

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, May 1, 2010

Poem Edited: Friday, April 15, 2011

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