Issue Three: Summer 2018

Return to Issue Three: Summer 2018


MICHAEL ESTABROOK

THE THINKING OCEAN

Why not? Who’s to say
the ocean isn’t a super-organism
composed of multitudes of lesser organisms
like the Amazon Rainforest, the Insect Kingdom,
the Milky Way Galaxy?

The ocean is a sentient thinking being
circulating itself all around the globe
currents are its heartbeats
bacteria its immune system
swells and tides its musculature.
It has a metabolism.
It eats, breathes,
recycles nutrients
through its estuaries and river mouths.

Mother Ocean, Tethys, Yemaya, Amphitrite . . .

Bacterial nanowires form her nervous system,
a neural-net patchwork below
in her sediments, spreading
throughout the abyssal valleys
and mountain ranges,
equivalent to our own
cerebral cortex.

What does she feel
as whales scream in their death throes?

What does she think
as oil spill pollutants suffocate clam beds and bird nests?

What can she do
as garbage and marine debris choke her shores?

And what will she decide, how will she REACT—
being more mighty and powerful
than any human endeavor—
in order to protect herself
and the creatures alive within her?

She is the greatest of super-organisms.
She can, if she chooses, once again swallow
EVERYTHING—
all of us on the planet
as she did in the time of Noah.

 


About the Author

Coalition of cheetahs, clutch of chickens, colony of bats, caravan of camels, cast of crabs, crash of rhinos, congregation of alligators . . . and what might be the best appellation applied to a gathering of poets? Convocation? Cluster? Chattering? Collection? Clutter? No, no, perhaps cacophony would be the most apt descriptor. Anyway, Michael Estabrook is one of the cacophony, his latest collection of poems being Bouncy House, edited by Larry Fagin (Green Zone Editions, 2014).

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