The heat of the day soaks the beach;
Outlines melt into the land;
A creature huddles out of reach
Of metal bodies clotted with sand
That hunker on tarmac, honk and creep.
At dusk, because the air cools faster,
A shore breeze whistles up the quay,
And tosses the lamp of the harbormaster
Who holds it aloft as he makes his way,
His light exhibiting circular motion;
Its beam reflects off angles of ocean
(In the near infra-red,
So he catches but a glimmer)
And a shimmer of phosphor he takes for a swimmer,
Though later enhancement shows him wrong.
The lights snap on.
“It is just as I feared,”
Says the gloomy Professor,
Stroking his beard.
The newsmen ask, “Just what do you mean
By ‘leakage from the Eocene’?”
He turns and gives this explanation:
The glimmer was a perturbation —
A rupture of the biosphere
That swept from the Eocene into our era
An ichthyo-andros derived from crustacean
Through radioactive transmogrification.
Pushed to the edge by civilization,
New to consciousness, new to fear,
It lay in wait beneath the pier.