Beneath the dark and complicated tide
Whelks grew in silent spirals, side by side
Until: ‘Oi, matey! You’ve gone chiral!
Youtube! Massive! You’ll be viral…’
And the chiral whelk he shrugged his shell and sighed:
‘I’m in me stationary chiral phase
I’ll invert elution order straightaways
And me column, it is durable:
No crucible or thurible
Can turn me from me HPLC ways’
The tide came in and the tide went out
A few hundred times and more
And our friend – call him ‘Whelk-0’ -
He wriggled and said: ‘I’m sick of the ocean floor.
It’s a lousy locality to practise chirality:
I wish I were on dry land.
Where, leaving aside the debates of morality,
Some spirally types make a stand.
Down here, immobile, I’m live meat for Pirkles
While honeysuckle and bindweed join tendrils in circles.’