Tuesday, 2 September 2008

The Giant Squid- a poem, after Bishop's 'The Fish'.

The Giant Squid

Meant to capture the monster,
haul it in; got instead a twenty-foot
tentacle, red and white and alive.
It curls narrowly at the closer end,
sticks a single white sucker
to my finger. The whale watchers
are excited in a Japanese way.
The sucker is rubbery and would slip
I watch the ring of teeth not close
against my flesh. Shivers, shivers rise
as waves to the gum-like warmth.
Twenty feet below sea level
my camera captures 550 stills
Of the monster- it loses a limb
freeing itself from my trap.
The tentacle moves like an ‘S’
And flays against the deck:
I cannot tell if it is attacking
and don't know why it's living still.
The Squid Expert from New Zealand
would like to jar a giant squid,
this tentacle; he says stills
are not significant, even history's first.
He must rear one from infancy,
that it may not know the rugged sea.
But I'll take these stills
and analyze until they make sense;
May the voiceovers call me science,
say I penetrate the deep.

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