Bathymodiolus elongatus
is an elegant species of apparatus
you’ll find on the sides of hydrothermal vents
filter-feeding the nutrients
that smoke up continuously
from ancient mineral chimneys
3000m down at the bottom of the sea

its common name is the giant vent mussel
which neatly describes its specialised hustle
working the tasty, smoky plumes
as they bubble away in the abyssal gloom
(there are lots of other creatures, too
like yeti crabs that work the flue
but I thought I’d focus on the mussel with you)

meanwhile, back on the distant surface
a marine biologist listens to her purchase
the latest album from Ed Sheeran
she downloaded in Guam
humming along happily
as she taps the keyboard rapidly
skilfully manipulating the ROV

I’m not entirely sure what this shows
something about life on earth I suppose
how every creature’s looking for solace
from marine biologist to deep water mollusc
a catchy tune, a well-turned lyric
or something a little more thermophilic
rumbling up from pipes in the Pacific

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