Monday, October 31, 2011

Spirit of the Sand – The Ghost Crab (Ocypode quadrata)

In mid-dark hours under a starlit sky
Porcelain apparitions flirt at edge of sight
Spirits of the dead that poke and pry
Rotten flesh-eating ghosts that haunt the night

Fallen sea stars crash to shore
An aquatic wish, a wish no more
Scallops and whelks ground into sand
A coastal cemetery where gulf grazes land

Midnight monsters rise from sandy grave
A four foot burrow and a daytime shade
“Fast of foot” Ocypode glides
Seeking beach line bounty of nightly tides

Scavengers of sorrow sift skeletal remains
Washed ashore by unforgiving waves
Bones and shells now picked clean
Are left on beach as tombstone memory

Coquina Clams and Mole Crabs beware
Dead or undead the ghouls won’t care
They hunt and feed and disappear
Underground to their shell cave lair

As sun arcs high up overhead
Predators hunt the haunted sand
Few ghosts emerge in fear as well
That they’d be rendered down to shell

Yet large stalked eyes help to see
While four paired legs aid well to flee
And one large claw is meant to scare
It’s hard to catch one unaware

But do not fear
The beast of the coast
After all
It’s just a ghost.