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Sea Changes


I have stood on many shores
and felt the long evolution of the deepest waves
where life spawns its leaping adaptions.

I have listened
to the trumpeting of great armored sea-bulls
echoing in the shallow bladder-wrack,
and on that splashing surface
invisible snouts blow from
an ancient depth below.

There where the tusked wolf
first dipped a paw into brine
a proto-creature struggling to survive
its bones already growing
razorback fins.
There also did the fanged manatee
thunder in its savage heart
as it plowed the screeching storms,
tempests that shaped its life
with its glittering saws.

Before the porpoise leapt
before the whale shipped its gray prow
Jekyll and Hyde clawed each other
through a gibbosity of flesh,
and where the skin flew
rat tails grew gills and jagged jaws,
behemoths burst from
slow wading, pod sheltering strays.

All churned in a rolling race
as if a keen edged spray
modeled bones,
a frantic saline transitioning
that even now 
as I stand by a washing tide
calls and plows me deep 
seeking my own extinct
and monstrous forms.




Copyright © Eric Ashford

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