Friday, April 09, 2010

Octopus Jam

Fish eggs are ripened by the moon,
spawned at the full, hatched at the dark.
But some eggs hatch to a different tune
like those of the famous Pacific tree octopus
in pails stowed around a winter campfire.
They get up a jug band (octopi are natural musicians)
and play a jam. They coil up on rugs
whose fringes flap in the bitter wind.
You can hear the banjos strum by torchlight.

They amuse themselves with puppetry
working the levers of a vulture marionette
to make its talons flex and wattles bob.
They exchange massages while smoke
roars up makeshift chimneys.

The pumice fields of the Cascades
(where these revels are held) are treeless.
Instead of swinging limb to limb
the expectant parents must use walkers,
a bruising, limping trudge. And if you're startled
by these facts, you can look them up
in any tome on natural history.

--for Read Write Poem's NaPoWriMo prompt #9. Read it for details.
I think fish eggs (such as caviar) taste terrible, though some people consider them a delicacy. The lines about eggs ripening are from an old poem of mine called "Moon Eggs." The sounds of a jug band make me happy.
Find out more about the Pacific tree octopus
Collection available! Knocking from Inside

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