The yin and yang of the hermit crab and the sea anemone

As you scuttled on the sand
beneath the swaying algal fronds,
one would think it to be the blue sky
and a mass of forest.
But legionnaire,
you were treading generous waters
and there were so many shells
for the taking,
to reign on and make your castle.

You chose your pick
from the seas bounty.
and the snail was long gone,
martyred to the ocean,
and you, just as soft bodied,
much more agile
in temperament
scouring the next best opportunity;
Now armed with protective sheath
of conchiolin, chitin, prismatic, calcified.
How bright and pearlescent
Is the nacre of your beautiful lodging,
like chandeliers in a noble home.

Did you not scout out the lone anemone,
coax her onto your castle,
formidable you both together.
Perched on your battlements,
she wrapped the drawbridge
in a poisonous curtain
of stinging tentacles,
warding off the glances of those
that wished to annhilate
you in ultimate sacrifice.
Yet, provider you were
of ocean feasts
and travels to forbidden places.

Such a strange commensalism
of stranger species still,
like a lesson to the world
that seeks to categorize,
prioritize abstractions
like cooperation
among the species;
All in the face of such, as senseless
as in the drama of evolution
across the species,
where life revels
in astounding difference
and in a perfect symbiosis!







It is Thanksgiving in the USA and this is a poem of gratitude for my home, my friends, family and every person I have crossed paths with. I believe that kindness, connection and the ability to render the inorganic, organic through our various commensalisms and symbiotic associations is what makes life and love go on for eternity or at least for the eternity of our living memory.

I happened to watch a beautiful movie on marine life and this commensalism begged to be transmuted to poetry; as an aside I have been amused by Sebastian the hermit crab from the Disney version of ‘ Little Mermaid’, and have loved the score composed by Alan Menken ever since.

Love and happiness are never an entitlement but the result of a sometimes reciprocal arrangement. In one as beautiful as in the sea anemone and the hermit crab, it is such that the yin and yang of the species are perfectly balanced. I hope we use this day to measure ourselves against the backdrop of this idea for the world; a world, which I feel, tries always to be in perfect balance when we are in cooperative engagement, in a cosmic dance in perfect complement to each other.

Love and peace to the universe. I am eternally grateful not only for today but every day that I wake up and am alive to the bright sun, the glowing moon, the dripping rain and the magnificent snow.

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