Category Archives: Animals

Octopus

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I go along to a poetry group every other Saturday where we discuss poems, get feedback, and do some writing exercises. One of our recent exercises involved picking one word from each poem that had been shared that week (not knowing what we would be doing with them) then using them all in a poem. This is the result of my attempt at this exercise. I won’t tell you which words I picked. Some will be obvious, others will not.

Octopus

An octopus lays in wait
Anxiously waiting
Nervously gesticulating in a mirror of discarded glass
Amused fish-eyes slide past outside
His own wide arms
Wing-span, diameter
Fill his cave
As he practises his lines

A disappointing pile of unflowering anemones
Decays in a corner
Were they a bit too much?
He is soaking a shrimp in vinegar
Because all the books say it’s romantic
But it’s apparent
That every inch of his near transparency
Is lost

And suddenly she’s here
So he octoposes
Flexes in octopostures
Fashioned to appear robust
But trust his luck
A bubble of air inflates his face
And she giggles

He takes in her smile
Her gentle dance
Her scuffed octoshoes
In the deep, blue light
And thinks
She’s a bit of alright

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The elusive, wall-scaling house-octopus

The Animal Games

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It’s Olympics time! I’m not really a big fan of watching (or participating in) sport, but even I enjoy the Olympics coverage. A chance to see events like diving and gymnastics that aren’t  always on the telly is really exciting!

This isn’t a particularly original poem, as the idea of animals doing Olympics has been done many times before. But hey, I want to do it too. I’m not entirely sure where this animal Olympics is set as I’m terrible at geography but, judging by the fact that Penguins are the host and going by the kinds of animals in attendance, I’m guessing either the North Pole or the South Pole. Someone help me out.

This is one of my earlier poems, which is an excuse I won’t be able to use for much longer as I exhaust my backlog of poetry and can only post new ones. Also, my sincerest apologies for the picture on this one which appears to feature a demonic penguin, a slug/seal hybrid, and an owl getting shot in the head (a narwhal).

The Animal Games

Black and white penguins
Emperor, Gentoo
The very best penguin Olympics I’ve been to
The salmon were sliming
With excellent timing
If you’ve not yet grinned, you’ll begin to

Silvery seals
Dragged from the ocean
Saddled by penguins, they cause a commotion
Then ride round a peg
Playing catch with an egg
Considered the quirkiest notion

Warbling walruses
Skewering eskimos
Flee from the water where killer whale Billy blows
Blustering birds
All gathered in herds
Think it the greatest of shows

The cold sun shines down
On the wondrous event
Each gang in the tourny, their banners present
Each animal group
Every team, every troupe
Then back to their burrows they’re sent

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This bee is busy practicing for the bugnastics

The Kraken Wakes

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I can’t quite remember where the idea for this one came from. Not my most inspired perhaps, but I found the concept amusing so there we go.

The Kraken Wakes

Three young men on an ocean rover
Opening a chest and taking something from inside
Lift the set of speakers out and lob them overboard
They undertook a mission no one else has ever tried

The speakers blare a sound that I have no words to describe
The men are on their feet, with a look of trepidation
A ripple in the water indicates something approaching
A harbinger of evil, a lord of devastation

The men are armed with nets and knives and even a machete
The water now is bubbling, there is something there below
The boat begins to rock and something pushes from beneath
They’re here to fight the Kraken but they’re caught up in its flow

The beast flies from the water and leaps up on to the boat
The men look disappointed with their wriggly little foe
Why is it so tiny? All the legends say it’s huge!
Well, people were a fair bit smaller in those days you know

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When will our gigantification, and subsequent dwarfing of all other living beings, end?

Floyd

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I felt it was about time I posted another poem about Floyd the Dog! Floyd, my dog, is now five years old! He becomes a bit calmer, and a bit more sensible, every day. The thing is, that’s not saying much for him. Floyd remains a complete lunatic of a dog, to my utter joy.

One of the lessons Floyd has learnt the hard way is that not every animal is his friend. He has been chased off by cats, dogs, and birds galore. However, he never lets this affect his love of life and his determination to befriend or eat everything he comes across on the common has only grown.

Floyd

Floyd’s tongue hung down like wallpaper
And quivered in the heat
He rattled like a tambourine
With one too many feet
A flock of pigeons saw him
And departed as a fleet
Floyd turned aside and tumble on
He crossed a bridge and thereupon
He hurried to harass a swan
That waddled through the peat

Floyd fluttered round the swan awhile
Inviting it to dance
It prowled around the water’s edge
And looked at him askance
Floyd watched the swan patrolling and
Recoiling from his prance
It raised its wings, he ducked his head
Floyd waved his bum, the swan saw red
Floyd’s owner just looked on in dread
He didn’t stand a chance

The ducks departed swiftly
As the swan rose to full height
And the fishermen were fumbling
And trembling with fright
And even Floyd the dog could see
That something wasn’t right
The swan exclaimed and wildly flapped
Floyd turned and found that he was trapped
Over his eyes, his paws were clapped
All bark is Floyd, no bite

Floyd waited for destruction but
The beating never came
It was only now he stood again
Responding to his name
His owner cried You eejit!
If you die I’ll get the blame!
The swan forgotten, Floyd skipped off
To dig up something foul to scoff
Perhaps a stagnant pond to quaff
Or some small plant to maim

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Widely and inexplicably loved, but entirely useless. He is the Bob Dylan of dogs.

Fish

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This is not a particularly profound, or even very good, poem. I simply needed to get an idea out of my head that had been troubling me for a while. Humans can move, basically, in one plane. We move forwards, backwards, left, right, and various combinations of those. Yes, we can jump or fall down, but we are limited by gravity and the ground.

Fish, however, can swim up and down at will. Their world has so much more potential for movement! It’s hardly fair and it irks me greatly.

Fish

Fish can swim in any direction
With graceful perfection that drives me insane
I ask them to cease all their vain self promotion
They reel in commotion but do it again

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I’m a beautiful merdog!

The Seal Lullaby

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My girlfriend is studying music so she often recommends classical music for me to listen to. Through her recommendations I have discovered some music that I absolutely adore, such as ‘Fantasia On A Theme By Tallis‘ by Vaughan Williams . Inevitably, with ‘classical music’ being such a wide term covering many different kinds of music written over many hundreds of years, some of it isn’t to my liking.

One composer I’ve listened to a bit of work by is Eric Whitacre. Some of his work, such as ‘October‘, is beautiful, but there was a particular choral piece of his that I just couldn’t get through without laughing. I, personally, found it very hard to listen to ‘The Seal Lullaby‘ without getting diabetes from its nauseating, sickly sweet faffery. I’m probably an absolute pleb or something but there we go. In response to this piece, I joked that I should write my own Seal Lullaby. Then I did. This is the result.

The Seal Lullaby

Be still Sealia
Your blubber is quaking
Don’t open your eyes
It’s not time for waking

Be still Sealia
Your flippers are trembling
Don’t lift up your head
Your dreams are assembling

Oh Sealia, swim through the sea of your mind
And flob on the sand of your wishes
Glide by the islands you see in your sleep
And eat some impossible fishes

Be still Sealia
Your jowl is quivering
Your layers of fat
Will keep you from shivering

Be still Sealia
Your whiskers are waving
Your body  is weak
From a long day of caving

Oh Sealia, rest in the nest of your dreams
And wibble o’er rocks by the tide
You’ll marvel at things that no seal’s ever seen
While still in your bed you abide

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That poem was rather sealporific

The Tapeworm Of Love

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It’s February, which means it’s Valentine’s day soon! This month, I’ve decided to post some valentinesy poems.

The first of this month’s poems was inspired by a Kate Bush song called Hounds of Love. Kate Bush describes love like a pack of hounds, hunting her down. I decided to write something along a similar lines, except that the protagonist describes love as a tapeworm that feeds off him. Exceedingly romantic, I know.

The Tapeworm Of Love

When I was a child
Making waves in the bath
I gave no thought but to having a laugh
Yes, when I was a child
I was too young to see

The tapeworm of love is tasting me

I lived for myself
And the things I enjoyed
I didn’t need friends, I was otherwise employed
Yes, I lived for myself
Too self-centred to see

The tapeworm of love is tasting me

You changed all of that
Occupying my mind
To what seemed so important before, I was blind
Yes, you changed all of that
And I started to see

The tapeworm of love is tasting me

This parasite’s grown
Now it takes up my time
And my energy too, but it isn’t a crime
Yes, this parasite’s grown
But at last, I can see

The tapeworm of love is tasting me

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The tapeworm’s distant cousin, the tapesnail