Tardigrade in its Element
This is the kingdom of the Water Bear.
To enter here, you have to shrink
and slow down, down. A day
is one tick of the clock, one blink
of the sun's eye. Overhead, like tangling
mangrove, see the stiff moss-trunks,
the flutes of fruiting lichen with its scarlet
cups of spores...You have to think
like an explorer - no, like a guest
of this generous jungle, with its globes
of dew, its swamp pools where who knows
what creatures may come down to drink.
If someone was to speak now,
back in the high and mighty worlds,
the lost world you belonged in,
it would be thunder, huge and indistinct,
just a rumble and quake. The glistening
water quivers. Settles slowly. Or not. There,
look: something's moving in the shadows
spilled across the forest floor like ink,
something huge, and in its element:
the great Moss Pig, the Water Bear.