Musing about Darwin


Darwin visits Tierra del Fuego

Lower he went
into the valley.
No sun shone here,
nor ever had glanced
between the woven branches.
Trees struggled up for light,
losing their tops in mist.
Silent needles fell
on distant earth.
Rain filled the air
and a bird’s song hung
in the stillness.

Phyllis King

Darwinpunch 2

When I Grow Up

I want to be a Darwin
when I grow up,
a Charles Robert Darwin.
I want to go to sea
in a ship called the Beagle
before I’m twenty three.

I’ll go to the Rio Plate
and drink a tea called Mate.
There’s nothing will by-pass me
from Tierra del Fuego
to the isles of Galapago.

I’ll go about the land
with my hammer in my hand,
and I’ll put things in my sack
to examine when I’m back.

And when I’m done with South America,
I’ll sail across to far Australia.
I’ll have a look at farmers and thieves
and determine the growth of coral reefs.

When at last my journey’s done
and I’m back again under English sun,
I’ll sit me down and write a book
about the voyages I took.

And then I’ll stop and have a think
for years about the missing link.
And when Tahiti is but a dream,
and nothing is as it seems,
I’ll write a very lengthy treatise
and call it the ‘Origin of Species’.

Phyllis King