Diane Hine

Silver Star - 3,405 Points (25 July 1956)

An Interesting Ancestry


To some of us, a tortoise lives on land
while turtles only rarely leave the sea.
‘Chelonians' applies to any brand,
so here I'll use this terminology.

Land dwellers share aquatic ancestry
and most of us decided to stay put.
Chelonians agreed to disagree.
A flippered revolution was afoot.

A late Triassic turtle fossil shows
a hard-shelled belly plate and softer back,
presumably to ward off fatal blows
from deeper-dwelling predators' attack.

Did top shell metaphorically ‘dissolve'
when full-shelled forebear sought the sea's embrace?
Or did an unshelled forebear's shell evolve
in oceanic pilgrimage retrace?

Genetic sleuthing points to latter case.
The evidence suggests that once again,
the tortoise forebears left their liquid space
and plodded (swam?) to shore with sigh, 'amen'. *

From sea to shore to sea to shore once more.
You'd surely think a record lies therein.
Yet maybe making not three trips but four
is water loving cousin terrapin.

When next you gaze with love in tortoise eyes
and wonder at his mind's soliloquy,
from languid, longing looks you may surmise,
he's pondering ‘To sea or not to sea'.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Edited: Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Form:


Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Poet's Notes about The Poem

* over many generations obviously

Comments about this poem (An Interesting Ancestry by Diane Hine )

  • Gold Star - 7,521 Points Lyn Paul (6/5/2014 8:32:00 AM)

    Words moving towards a documentary. You always keep us thinking Diane (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 9,730 Points Heather Wilkins (9/1/2013 3:04:00 PM)

    very interesting a good write sets us to thinking (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Pink Butterfly ... (8/27/2013 7:37:00 AM)

    An interesting little tale... warm, clever and tender. God bless you! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Janet Budd (1/8/2013 5:10:00 AM)

    You are very witty. I like! ! ! ! I wonder how we'll evolve? A lot of us have shells already, invisible shells, impenetrable shells. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Owain Glyn (12/12/2012 8:40:00 AM)

    These creatures are not exactly famous for their perambulatory speed, maybe that goes for their decision making prowess too. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Chuck Audette (7/19/2012 2:08:00 PM)

    Was it a race against the whale? Foot to flipper, what a tail! ! And will, too, we, return to the sea? Seems a moves afoot this time of year, to the beach since heat we cannot bear... -chuck (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 33 Points Mark Dillon (7/7/2012 9:54:00 AM)

    Th shell and back, eh, , nice one. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 340 Points Captain Cur (7/2/2012 7:35:00 AM)

    Your writing on difficult concepts, settings, evolution and different life forms
    seems effortless when read. The work, research and thought that goes into
    your style of poetry is immense. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 351 Points Patti Masterman (5/4/2012 4:05:00 PM)

    There is such thought and deepness behind your poetry that I am always amazed. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 3 Points Sharad Juneja (4/20/2012 4:36:00 AM)

    A different and unique idea.. u did all the justice..beautifully written (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 347 Points Danny Draper (4/19/2012 11:41:00 PM)

    I did see once the nub of a feather on a turtle's flipper and now know why, perhaps their next peregrination will be to the sky.

    Fine poem. (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 3,183 Points Valerie Dohren (4/18/2012 7:09:00 AM)

    Very well written - and interesting. Another good one Diane. (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 3,244 Points Pradip Chattopadhyay (4/18/2012 2:34:00 AM)

    A struggled and changing adaptation, never belonging to anywhere forever, ever searching for anchorage....an outstanding event simply put. (Report) Reply

Read all 13 comments »

Famous Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. Caged Bird
    Maya Angelou
  8. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
Trending Poets
Trending Poems
  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  4. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  5. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  6. Good Morning My Love, craig moon
  7. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  8. If, Rudyard Kipling
  9. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep, Mary Elizabeth Frye
  10. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
[Hata Bildir]