Waters salty and deep the sea-turtle plys,
change, the essence of time, this creature defies.
New land gets flooded, and an old ocean dries;
he swims sedately through all, in that wonderful turtle disguise.
But new things have appeared in the seas and the skys;
Man, with a doomsday machine that swims and that flys,
crawls on the land, the beaches, wherever it belives a nice profit lies.
The turtle peers from the water, at the hubris, such hues and such cries.
Down down, the turtle sinks, old beyond years, patient and wise,
crying the saltiest tears through unblinking eyes.
The Tortoise in Eternity
by Elinor Wylie
published in Nets to Catch the Wind
Within my house of patterned horn
I sleep in such a bed
As men may keep before they're born
And after they are dead.
Sticks and stones may break their bones,
And words may make them bleed;
There is not one of them who owns
An armor to his need.
Tougher than hide or lozenged bark,
Snow−storm and thunder proof,
And quick with sun, and thick with dark,
Is this my darling roof.
Men's troubled dreams of death and birth
Pulse mother−o'−pearl to black;
I bear the rainbow bubble Earth
Square on my scornful back.