In darkest loam, beneath our feet,
There thrives a vibrant world replete
With intrigue, battle, life and death
Diversity in all its breadth.
The surface, where we daily scratch,
Has mushrooms bloom, and beetles hatch.
But so much more than we can know
Exists in kingdoms far below:
Gorgeous, tiny teddy-creatures
Tardigrades, with bear-like features;
A network of mycelial thread:
Decay that brings new life from dead;
The many-legged centipede;
The tiny dormant dreaming seed;
The nematodes; the busy ants;
The mighty microbes; roots of plants;
A gentleman in velvet black
Who never seems to feel the lack
Of daylight (though in starlight, still
He might be seen, atop a hill).
Stop a moment,
Can you sense, beneath the grass
There’s worlds beyond your mortal ken?
Worlds that heed not plights of men.
If only humans’ sense of worth
Came less from gold, and more from earth.
The truth is, worms’ work in the soil
Outweighs mine, for all my toil.
Without the worm, no food would grow;
And that’s a fact all men should know.