Archive for May 19th, 2018

Saturday, 19 May 2018

The Shipwrecked Naturalist by Robert Archer

The breakers knock a yard-arm into sight,
then heave it just within his fevered reach.
He clambers on and grasps at trailing ropes
to ride each plunge into the troughs of swell.

With every crest he glimpses glinting sands—
a beach! If only he could cross the reef,
defy the currents pulling him away,
then all his work will not have been in vain.

And — there! — what else could all that flotsam be,
flung wide across the shore, but his own crates,
sealed and tarred, packed tight with journals, gorgeous moths,
strange reptiles, seeds and bulbs for English soil…?

From open sea, he watches as they fade
to distant specks, then shimmer, and are gone.


Date: 2014

By: Robert Archer (19??- )