By Kendall Evans

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Part One: The Shallows

In the shallows,
Chitons cling to tide pool rocks
So tightly
Stone slowly etches to their shape
While seagulls / In ephemeral time-lapse
Swoop and dive above

In the shallows,
Satellites cling
To decaying orbits

Fiddler crabs amble sideward
Big-pincher fiddle
Poised shield-like
&Expectant

Armstrong steps
Upon the lunar surface
Reciting rehearsed words

“One small step for man . . .”

Shy octopi play hide-and-seek
Behind dark water-scarves
Of ink

Robot Rovers tread-mark Mars
Crab-walking their way
Over Martian sand dunes
While Phobos and Deimos orbit above

Whales bask upon the surface
Spout water thru blow-holes
Sing songs of migration

Cosmonauts and Astronauts
Comingle
Aboard space stations
In low Earth orbit
Not far above the atmosphere

Part Two: The Depths

Sperm whales
Routinely Dive
2 miles down
Instinctively seeking prey

Dark matter parts
As deep-space vacuum
Shapes itself
To a starship’s form

Far beneath the sea’s bright surface
Sperm whales cruise the darkness
Hunting Architeuthis dux,
The giant squid

Is there rapture
In deep space
Far between radiant stars?
Imagine an interstellar vessel,
The Erewhon
A Leviathan
Five kilometers long

Chemosynthetic archaea thrive
Surrounding hydrothermal vents
Upon the ocean’s floor,

And Some whale species
Seek abyssal depths
Preying upon colossal squid

The Erewhon cruises
Powered by solar sails / photon impacts
Riding the quantum waves
Motley / mixed crew
Humans and intelligent robots
Tending machines & mending sails

Diving whales
Lungs deliberately collapsed
Accommodating crushing pressure
100 atmospheres and more
Drift down and down, descending
Into the Deep

Ever onward, the Erewhon
Traveling outward
Beyond Neptune, Pluto
Out past the Oort cloud
Journeying Into the Deep

Kendall Evans

Poems by Kendall Evans have apeared in Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, Nebula Award Showcase 2012, Mythic Delirium, Weird Tales, Space & Time, Dreams & Nightmares, and others.