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By John I. Blair

At first breath
You’d say it’s just a lump of clay
Or wedge of ridgy rock
Still dirty from the ground;
But turn it half around
And you’ll begin to understand
Why I display it.

Perhaps a dozen fluted grooves
Decorate its face
As on a marble column.
Looking closer you can see
The indentations
Of some segment rows
And one banded arm.

This was once a living animal,
A crinoid, anchored
On the bottom sand
Of some warm inland sea,
Swaying its pinnules gently
In the currents washing past,
Charming smaller animals.

Now for me it operates
As a memento mori,
A reproval to this
Human-centered place,
A comment on the
Beauty that surrounds us
And on its death.

©2004 John I. Blair  

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Comment: Beauty does surround us John, thank you for reminding us so eloquently. Louise Engel



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