Poems of the Week

The Oyster Through the Looking Glass

by Julia Griffin

For Jack, the Walrus Muse, with apologies to Lewis Carroll

“[M]eet Jill, Australia’s heaviest oyster… [which] now weighs more than 3kg and is about to enter the record books.”
The Guardian

The Walrus and the Carpenter,
Renowned for charm and skill,
Were luring guileless oysters out
With great success until
They found themselves encountering
A giant known as Jill.

“O mammals!” said this prodigy,
“How nice to see you here!
How healthy, large, and fresh you look!
My children, push me near—
I have, like many of our kind,
Myopia, I fear.”

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Stood frozen, side by side,
Renouncing silently a plan
They wished they’d never tried.
And saw too late that massive shell
Gape very, very wide …

“O Walrus!” grinned the oysterbed,
“O Carpenter! come, come:
Where are your bread and butter now?
Your vinegar? What, dumb?”
And all the answer was a belch
And deep, molluscan “Yum!”