Oceanic Nutrient Cycles


Imagine the ocean, filled with glistening globules, falling,
this slow-mo downpour of snow serenely flows underwater
so I guess we ought to call it marine snow
and I guess you want to know what it is

It’s snot and junk and fishy gunk
gluey poo, dead planton too.
In tiny specks these things can float
but gravity grows as they too bloat
when bits stick to each sticky overcoat.
This is the nutrient link feeds the deep seas
a carbon sink stronger than trees
but if nutrients sink what feeds the heights?
Algae need to drink in more than lights.

Well the rivers are givers but it isn’t enough
some sun-shunning organisms dissolve falling stuff
but one grand brand of creaturea dredges the deeps
and ensures things don’t stay down for keeps:
the whale can go both high and low
and as swimming pools show,
mammal poo often floats
so whales may vent pink fecal plumes
which plankton, algae then consumes
and a new place of life blooms upon the map
come fish – feast – here be whale crap
and their poo too falls and festers,
broken down by micro-digesters
and it snows again.
Christmas on the abyss below
too dark for any plant to grow.

Then sailors became whalers and with slow whale birth
such travesty, this majesty near wiped off earth
and the fauna that adorn an ocean
starve without this marvel’s motion
for so valuable it seems is the iron in their cack
that killing whales, which eat krill, sets krill numbers back
Sure, sharks and squid will eat what’s hid
nearby, but what’s slid
down will not come back.
When these species we attack,
it’s only a biodiversity disaster
if we kill them faster
than they feed and breed
So another occupation that’s alright in moderation is fishing
but some smaller fish are just as nutrish
as one larger fish that makes a whole dish
but will cause the demolition
of the fish’n chip shops
when the fishing just stops
cause the larger fish take longer to grow
and there ain’t that many more in the sea doncha know.
Yet with whale-oiled algae, the whole sea, whole world can feast
But the cycle only spins when the greatest serve the least.



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