Miraculous Creature, Bird for the Ages
Albatrosses evolved to wander seemingly, endlessly
on twelve foot wings, perfectly aerodynamic,
no man-made craft can match the gliding power,
unlike other birds who are designed to fly
using vast reserves of energy to move through wind currents
near and far, but never designed to endlessly float, eternally glide
across trackless ocean deeps, crossing all the five oceans.
Albatrosses know how to follow the limitless currents of wind,
spending minimal amounts of effort as they skate
through a life of more than four million miles,
more than eight trips to the moon and return,
this is their life, a life of and for the sea, the wind and the sky.
Mating for life at six or seven or eight,
selecting a mate after numbers of ritual dances,
living for a time that can number a hundred years,
meeting their mates but once every other year,
together they brood their single chick
on distant, obscure islands, far from human forms,
far from any known habitation, far from shipping lanes,
in the middle of a limitless sea.
Each partner often flies thousands of miles for food
to feed these single, always hungry babes,
meanwhile their mates remain atop the earthbound nest,
these mates keeping ever careful watch against
the great skuas, auks, and even small jaegers.
They probe the waters of the Arctic,
they probe the far reaches of the Pacific
in search of food and provender until the chick
decides at almost a year it can fly
and gather its own food and provender.
The fledgling then begins its century’s life aloft,
like its parents flying to the moon and back
time after time after time,
season after season after season,
decade after decade after decade.
This wondrous, magic creature no token of evil,
As Coleridge would have us believe,
but a creature surprising in strength and endurance,
a being miraculous in concept and design,
still with us these eons upon eons upon eons,
a species whose design is beyond human concept,
a species whose design may be a sign from God,
a species deserving our admiration and reverence.
All Life the Same
All life is one,
all evolved from the same type of cell,
from the smallest bacteria to the giant blue whale,
all life is defined
by a string of three letter words,
made from four bases-C, G, T and A,
each a simple combination of simplest atoms,
carbon and nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen.
Even the archaebacteria* living
in sulfurous sea vents at the bottom of the sea
at hundreds of degrees farenheit
all spring from the same type of DNA.
All the living world has the same beginning,
but shows itself in seemingly endless variety –
Humans differ one from the other
by a second order fraction of DNA.
But we find talking to one another
too difficult, unyielding
at times incomprehensible,
as though each one speaks in
a different one of earth’s
six thousand tongues,
all at the same time,
as though the Tower of Babel is still here.
Unable to reach one another,
we resort to conflict and violence
as the only means of communication,
yet differ from one to the other by fractions
of a fraction of a fraction of DNA,
a very modest genetic difference,
a slight variation on the double helix,
still we continue to see differences
where there are mainly similarities,
maybe the ultimate puzzle of humanoids,
maybe the ultimate puzzle of sapiens.
*’Archaebacteria’are any of the microorganisms constituting the kingdom archaea. Archaea is an ancient organism that evolved differently from algae and bacteria. All three branched from the same organism several billion years ago, but now constitute separate and disparate kingdoms.