To Radiate, Even Briefly

Deep beneath the sea, in a bed of sand,
a tiny pufferfish flaps tail and fins
and labors over cryptic hills and bands
and valleys, and with burrowing begins

his DaVinci: Perfect geometry
of circle and furrow, radial lines
all adorned with shells, in symmetry
as if the Master’s hand guides his design.

With luck he’ll find a mate who is beguiled
long enough to lay an egg in praise
of his oeuvre, not knowing all the while
that he must sacrifice it to the waves.

And then the pufferfish darts through the ocean
in quest of near perfection one more time—
resuming his bug-eyed fish devotion
to a moment radiating the divine.


(Note: A tiny male puffer fish in Japan works day and night using his fins to create an ornate circular nest of radially aligned ridges and valleys seven feet across, decorated with elaborately placed shell fragments, to impress a mate. It’s eerily similar to the concentric design of a mandala, or likened to an underwater crop circle. Ocean currents will wash it away relatively quickly.)





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