Monday, 29 March 2010


In murky ponds your flattened lengths you hide,
Your heads like tender diamonds gazing dim
'Long logs you use as cover for your slim
And soft bodies, your vision feeble-eyed.
Your race's many members creep in streams
Around this world, yet we the treading swains,
Whose errors cut upon you ample pain,
Do little know your cross-eyed, broken dreams.
Yet every brokenness will yield another
You, from your wound; each fragment blooms into
A separate self. A cloven head's now two
That share a body branching. Quarrels mother
You clones who split your lengths by pulling free;
You worms will grow through love--and injury.

Yup. Planaria are funny little critters.

This is more emphatically a draft than usual. If anyone is out there, interested in contributing, I have a question: do you prefer the fourth line as it is, or would you prefer to see it, "And soft bodies, with tiny muscles filled inside."? Further, would the twelfth line be better as it is, or rendered, "That share a branching body."? Other critiques also welcome.
I had wanted to do more with this, but I often find that sonnets hold less than I anticipate they will, so I have to make due. Perhaps I could write another planaria sonnet, one that should follow immediately after in the sequence, which discusses how sexual reproduction is more genetically beneficial than asexual reproduction... and, yet, asexual reproduction seems to directly benefit those planaria who get injured, since they reproduce their genes exactly. It might be worth another sonnet.
Actually, an aubadina might work well for this subject. Shame it's not a real tradition.

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