South Fork Poetry: ‘Among Relatives, at the Sea’

By Michael Walsh

I am most at home

with horseshoe crabs

and twirling flatworms,

evolutionary travelers,

my extended family,


but we lack parity.

Some worms have five hearts,

kept occupied;

I have only one, always at risk.


I am not segmented

but I have a coelom,

a body cavity,

and my brain is sticky

as a spoon worm.


I am eukaryotic

by definition;

all my cells have nuclei,

and I have more psychic weight

than blue-green algae.


I am not a stinker sponge.


I am pentamerous

and can grasp a slippery issue.

I like smart snails

and the molluscan point of view.


I have the sensitivity

of a tunicate

and squirt philosophy

like a piss clam.

Michael Walsh, a member of the East End Poetry Workshop for many years and the author, with Virginia Walker, of the recently published collection “Neuron Mirror,” died in May. A reading and memorial for him will be held on Sept. 13 at 2 p.m. at the Rogers Memorial Library in Southampton.