Poems of the Week


by Julia Griffin

“’We were just sitting out in the middle of the ocean and then this huge male seal appeared with an octopus and he was thrashing him about for ages,’ Mulinder told the news channel. ‘I was like ‘mate, what just happened?’ It was weird because it happened so fast but I could feel all the hard parts of the octopus on my face.’”—The Guardian

Mulinder was a paddle king, his kayaking was great,
He liked to sit with sea all round and call the creatures “mate”;
He kayaked with his camera, aquatic as a plaice,
Until the day eight tentacles unfurled across his face.

His face was full of octopus—he had no time to dodge;
Like some prehensile blunderbuss, it landed with a splodge.
It did not act with animus, it showed a certain grace,
That octopodic incubus that flipped him in the face.

A mollusk-flinging seal had caught Mulinder off his guard:
He had not known an octopus had parts so very hard.
He scratched his newly-slimy head. “What happened, mate?” he cried;
And wincing at the syllable the whiskered one replied:

“Your face is full of octopus; here’s why I had you sluiced:
I’m not your mate—you’re human, plus we’ve not been introduced.
I see no need to flap and flail; I think I’ve made my case;
Don’t make me find a killer whale to flip you in the face.”