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Friday, September 09, 2022


by Darrell Petska

Scientists at the Florida Aquarium have made a breakthrough in the race to save Caribbean coral: For the first time, marine biologists have successfully reproduced elkhorn coral, a critical species, using aquarium technology. It's a historic step forward, and one they hope could help revitalize Caribbean ecosystems and could pay humans back by offering extra protection from the fury of hurricanes. —CNN, September 5, 2022. Above: a two-year-old video of living elkhorn coral in the wild.

Sometimes a whisper, a nudge
can set things aright:

presenting baby elkhorn coral, 
little starlets spawned lovingly
by hand—their parents bleached,
sickly, dying—to take their place
safe-guarding shores from wind-
tossed waves that plague our lives.

Skeptics said “impossible”. Hope
and sound science prevailed.
Though reefs worldwide are fading,
and so all life they nurture, 
dirtied, warming waters have a cure:

hopeful and dedicated, whispering
life back into oceans—it must be us,
the careless and short-sighted,
who’ve created this hot mess.

Darrell Petska's poetry has appeared in Third Wednesday Magazine, Your Daily Poem, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Monterey Poetry Review, Verse-Virtual, and widely elsewhere. A Pushcart Prize nominee for 2021, Darrell lives in Middleton, Wisconsin, near his five children and six grandchildren, for whom he holds hope for the future.