Wednesday, October 07, 2009

If Jellyfish Wrote History

Way back
before the sky was even blue
in the preCambrian eternity
while plankton were inventing photosynthesis
Jellyfish ruled the waves.

The biggest and the baddest,
the most beautiful
creatures in the sea
and back then, the sea held
the entirety of life
rocking in a shallow soup
of our Ediacaran Eden.

Jellyfish invented self-propulsion
and almost immediately, dance.

Jellyfish harnessed electricity,
stealth, and society.
Continent-sized families
floated in gelatinous communion
dominating the seas
for a stretch of time so vast
that the entire history of shell wearers
and skeleton bearers,
their millions of years
of evolution, extinction, adaption;
the slip-sliding of continents
from before Gondwana to geopolitics;
the ascendancy of the Himalayas
from muddy sea floor
to icy heights;

has all been but a shimmering
turbulence on the surface.

My blind emboss print of woodcut of fossilised impression of preCambrian jellyfish

Top jellyfish photo by Rachel Bolstad


Johanna said...

I love your poem. I'm going to go and foist it on some family members now!

Carol said...

Your poem is beautiful; your embossed fossils make me want to buy a couple; and the little jellyfish video is delightful. I'll check out your shop to see if you are selling the woodcuts.