A is for algae, red, green, blue cells, soaking up sun, sliming teeth
B is for bacterial mat, clumping underneath, earliest born, never asleep
C is for coral reef, the place we all find cover or the sand parrotfish chew and release
D is for diatom, all seeded calcium, all float free, all denizens barely seen
E is for eelgrass, nursery meadows of the anchovy, and other browsers of green
F is for fan worm, filter feeder like a flower, 8000 species on which fish feed
G is for giant kelp, floating on bladders of air they’re forests of cold waters clean
H is for helmet, the royalty of snails who protect our feet, queen, emperor, king
I is for isopod, the chameleon crustacean, they color match what they eat
J is for jellyball, or cannonball jellyfish, not upside down or moon, avoid their heat
K is for keyhole limpet, favorite food of ochre stars, will erect its own wall
L is for laver, the sea lettuce of nori, it swirls red skirt as ocean falls
M is for mermaid’s purse, the sack of the skate whose yolk keeps them alive
N is for nerite, the prisoner striped snail of the rocky zone as numerous as a hive
O is for oyster drills, the snails that slurp oysters and use them to lay eggs
P is for pleurobranch, a sea slug answer for oranges, with one active leg
Q is for quahog, the bivalve seaman who can survive eating the mud
R is for rove beetle, the one waiting to snatch the unwary beach hopper for good
S is for saxitoxin, those red tides produced by mating that can paralyze humans
T is for tubular sponge, they squish, bore and encrust as space lends
U is for urchin, those spiny skinned balls, no eyes or noses but dig food in sand
V is for Venus, Music Volutes dined or Vampire Squids skimming along land
W is for whelk, not the musically inclined, but the slow moving snail in a shell
X is for X and a half, the six rayed star, hungry for anything on the half shell
Y is for yucca, blooming on the beach, they bloom nice and tolerate the sand
Z is for Zostera marinara, the address of eel grass when they're feeling grand
All of this green life is what crunches, stinks, dries and slips underfoot
The rest that find the housing and dining compatible means someone’s on the look.
Pirana filled lake
Will he get out in time?
Within my sight of ocean breeze
I see the curve of earth and sea
The little ducks as they walk about
A show of wings for a simple handout.
White clouds pass, subtle and calm
Giving rest to the sun upon the kiddie pond
The sunlight twinkles as the children play
Together they're dancing within the waves.
Here comes a duck with questioning eyes
A piece of bread or even some pie?
Bikinis and trunks play in the sand
Not one of them lovers, not one holding hands.
This all seems distracted as in playful dispute
The beach is so quiet, maybe they're mute
The glare of the sun brings me back to my write
I see the seagulls attacking a kite.
Although the beach I thought serene
This one corrects me of all I have seen
Only the ducks seem peaceful to know
Their questioning eyes and hunger side show.
The people are sad or poor I bet
To come to this beach, in silence get wet
If this is the price of the beach for me
I'll come for the ducks, the ducks are free.
BY: DARREN J McMURRAY
September 14, 2008