Photo credit: Keith Dax Moss

Photo credit: Keith Dax Moss

If you were a turtle lady and you loved a turtle man

It would not be odd in turtle-land

if you had known the waves four hundred

years and he another sixty-one;

or he knew the beach for twenty,

you the sand for forty-six;

you each lost your turtle-hatchlings

in the week you turned and left

for waves and fish in deeper waters

such as it happens every year,

for you the turtle-man and lady

know enough of turtle fears.

I am rather fond of tortoises, terrapins and turtles. We had half a dozen tortoises in our back garden when I was a child, so I spent time watching them and observing their life cycles.

There isn’t much about jazz in the poem, so perhaps the title is mismatched. There’s a jazziness in the loop of the ‘turtle this’ and ‘turtle that’ refrain, but some might say I’m stretching it now. Maybe this will still prove a work in progress. We’ll see.