Category Archives: Sea

Octopus

Octopus.jpg

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

WP_20170402_20_44_12_Pro.jpg

The elusive, wall-scaling house-octopus

The Kraken Wakes

The Kraken Wakes 001 (1).jpg

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

fdzbfdz.jpg

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

Fish

Fish 001.jpg

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

WP_20160409_11_02_04_Pro.jpg

I’m a beautiful merdog!

The Seal Lullaby

Seal Lullaby 001.jpg

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

WP_20160409_11_00_21_Pro.jpg

That poem was rather sealporific

How Are You Not A Sea Monster?

How Are You Not A Sea Monster 001.jpg

It’s Valentine’s day! Different people have different thoughts and feelings about today. Personally, I tend not to pay it any attention at all as it’s all a bit nauseating, but I’m posting this poem as a small nod to the day’s significance.

I was reading The Call Of Cthulhu by H. P. Lovecraft and I couldn’t help but think that it would be horrible to have to spend time with a sea monster (especially one that is actually an ancient, evil, and angry god) and that the highest compliment you could pay someone is that they are completely unlike a sea monster!

How Are You Not A Sea Monster?

How are you not a sea monster?
Let me count the ways
You don’t have slimy tentacles
Just small, warm hands to raise

You don’t have eyes like frying pans
No, yours are deep and blue
You don’t scare sailors half to death
It’s nice to be with you

You don’t protect a dark abyss
You’re generous and sweet
You don’t have pincers, claws, or hooves
Just lovely, little feet

You don’t speak in strange languages
I love to hear your voice
I wouldn’t nuke your resting place
Were I given the choice

WP_20160207_17_38_53_Pro.jpg

The lesser known (and lesser feared) sink monster

 

Mutiny

Mutiny

Last year, I walked into a charity shop and bought a book that I knew nothing about purely because it had a beautiful cover. That book was called The Eventful History of the Mutiny and Piratical Seizure of HMS Bounty: It’s Cause and Consequences. Catchiest title ever. I won’t tell you all the details of this intriguing true story but suffice to say it describes a mutiny and the terrible consequences for the crew. It paints the mutineers as villains and the loyal crew as heroes but, as it was written many many years ago, makes no comment at all on the fact that the ships original mission had been to deliver food to help run a slave plantation! It’s a fascinating glimpse into history. This poem was inspired by this story but is fairly dramatised, fictionalised, and otherwise inaccurate.

Mutiny

Mutiny! Mutiny! Sound the alarm!
In the calm of the sea a cry rose from the boat
Then the few loyal crew, they were gathered around
They were bound and then thrown in a dinghy to float

Delivering food to a distant plantation
Their station: feed slaves with a glorious new crop
But they rested, found love with a small tribal group
So the troupe of deserters gave sailing the chop

We the dissatisfied, bitter and poor
Will no more accept wages, orders or commands
We’ll sail for that island and all settle down
For the town on the beach will fulfill our demands

The captain was outraged and said with a sneer
Well, it’s clear we’re the only real men on the ship
If you’ll send us off please, we’ll impede you no more
But be sure, we’ll be back, was the man’s parting quip

They struggled for weeks in the grip of the tide
Many died but a few lucky stragglers lived on
When they made it back home, they were asked straight away
Well, which way have the traitorous mutineers gone?

So to sea they returned, back to weed out the rest
With the best ship available, lethal and fast
They crashed onto the island, turned houses to mud
And the bloodthirsty scoundrels were punished at last

And never again were they put to the test
Yes, they rest now as heroes in glorious graves
Their records were flawless, their legacies pure
Just ignore the small fact that it’s bad to trade slaves

This is fruitiny!

This is fruitiny!

The Sea Slug Riders

The Sea Slug Riders

I’ve recently been rereading some of my favourite David Eddings books and have been quite inspired by them. Eddings was a fantastic fantasy writer and his books are full of great characters and frightening creatures. I wanted to write a poem about monstrous beasts in a fantasy setting. I chose to take the humble sea slug (are they humble? I don’t know. They might be incredibly vain dressed like they are.) and turn it into a ferocious steed for a race of warriors. This poem finds the sea slug riders returning from their crusades abroad.

The Sea Slug Riders

The bells were heard for many a mile
An answer to the townsfolk’s yearning
Rang out from the campanile
The sea slug riders were returning

The women turned their gaze to the horizon
Could not believe what they there laid their eyes on

The rippling tips of sea slug frilling
Glistened in the dying light
Their undulating dance was thrilling
Dimpling like cellulite

The men removed their hats and genuflected
In honour of the heroes long expected

Slow and steady, on they wriggled
Strapped in place for ease of seat
But at at our minds, a worry niggled
Was it all a cruel deceit?

The mayor shuffled his feet in nervous tension
Entertaining thoughts he dared not mention

The crowd rushed forward, hoped to see more
In the breaking waves we found
That sea slugs ride along the sea floor
So the sea slug riders drowned

The slugs, armed with a fearsome reputation
Had thus begun their quest for domination

Biding his slime until his marine brothers rise up and liberate the Earth

Biding his slime until his marine brothers rise up and liberate the Earth