by Mark Isaak

I met a scholar from an antique school
Who said: Two vast and all-embracing clades
Sit in old journals. . . Outside in a pool,
Half sunk, a downy water mold invades
And, mocking if it's plant or animal,
Confused old authors who its visage read
And tried to fit it in accepted folds
These taxonomic articles had spread.
And pencilled on a page these words appear:
'My name is Oomycetes, Mold of Molds:
Look on my genes, ye Cladists, and despair!'
Nothing besides gets read. In here, away
From moist and verdant pond, still saprobes dare,
And brittle yellow books slowly decay.

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