Diel Vertical Migration

credit: picturepest, flcikrCCOut for tasting of night,
copepods and larvae,
barnacles and anemones,
starfish and pelagic worms—

these and more
than ten thousand species
of zooplankton make for
(in microscopic terms)

largest of animal migration
around the globe
(freshwater or ocean)—

bodies that rise with their wake
from the deep in their meeting
orchestration of drifters,
while avoiding the light,

dimming predation, reaching
for first chain in life, marine
giver of breath for all the Earth,
that plant of bloom, that surface

dweller of ornamentation,
developer of carbon sink,
diatoms, coccolithophores—
designs, some of dream

turning from chalky white
to streams of blue
swirling back a sky,

or filigrees turned edible
shells of glass into gold


Lynne Goldsmith is an award-winning poet who has been published in All-Creatures.OrgInteralia Magazine, Journal for Critical Animal Studies, Not Very Quiet, Plants & Poetry Journal, Red Planet Magazine, Spillway, Thimble Literary Magazine, Tiny Seed Literary Journal, and elsewhere. Her first book, Secondary Cicatrices, won the 2018 Halcyon Poetry Prize and was a 2019 Finalist in the American Book Fest Awards, a 2020 Human Relations Indie Book Award Gold Winner, a 2020 International Book Award Finalist, a 2021 Book Excellence Award Finalist, and a 2021 Distinguished Favorite in the Independent Press Awards.