Treasure Island

Diane Hine

(25 July 1956)

Ballade: On the Ocean Current


The Turritopsis jellyfish
theoretically might never die
but Nature rarely grants its wish
to settle and transmogrify.
Clear bells with tiny radii
are perfect sea slug snacks – alack!
It grieves me so, I’m apt to cry.
Would you be me, a leatherback?

Though jellies are my staple dish
I’d never eat immortals. Why?
I’m not quite sure - I’m liverish
and yet I would diversify
to eat the slug that ate my guy.
To quote a dipsomaniac,
‘my witness is the empty sky’.
Would you be me, a leatherback?

My girlfriend’s ridged like liquorice
and to my tetrachromatic eye
her unnamed hues glow devilish.
Although she’s 83, she’s spry
but not possessive. No, nor I.
I’m rhymy Jack (not Kerouac
who’d rather choke than versify) .
Would you be me, a leatherback?

Does immortality qualify
if one’s reborn amnesiac?
I ask each drifting passerby,
‘Would you be me, a leatherback’?

Submitted: Thursday, July 25, 2013
Edited: Friday, July 26, 2013

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  • Bobby Wynn (8/1/2013 4:57:00 PM)

    What we don't know about what we cannot see is far away but what we know about what we can see we can agree on. Its a win-win. Poor turtle. (Report) Reply

  • Valsa George (7/29/2013 7:25:00 AM)

    From the world of birds, you have now come to the domain of Leatherback turtles, jelly fish and slugs! As a lover of wild life, you bemoan their near extinction! Man's greed exceeds all permissible limits! At least there are quite a few people like you who are sensitive to such issues of these mute creatures! A great write! ! (Report) Reply

  • Douglas Scotney (7/27/2013 8:25:00 PM)

    I once ate a leatherback,
    Yolky in its floppy shell
    In distant Rantau Abang
    After watching them lay their eggs.
    O how the memory lingers:
    You tear the shell with your fingers. (Report) Reply

  • Valerie Dohren (7/27/2013 3:21:00 AM)

    Excellent Diane - I wouldn't want to be a leather either. Fascinating write, replete with some original words. (Report) Reply

  • Anthony Di''anno (7/26/2013 1:39:00 PM)

    Transmogrify has got to be up there as one of the best words in the world. I certainly wouldn't want to be a leatherback turtle, well not unless I had a waterproof phone and knew a squid willing to share waterproof ink so I could still write and read poetry :)
    As ever Diane your poetry excells. (Report) Reply

  • Danny Draper (7/26/2013 7:00:00 AM)

    A light hearted write belies a serious tone even Kerouac faced the road alone. In blistering sun the Leatherback's smelly, but if they travelled by air the aeroplane jelly would be complementary and preserve their tack, and some would envy a leatherback. (Report) Reply

  • Thomas A Robinson (7/26/2013 6:35:00 AM)

    Ah the immortal turpitopsis nutricula. The everyready battery of the animal world. And my how have they muliplied. And to be good food of the leatherback turtles to boot. What more could life be! Chomp, chomp.
    Just drifting around in forward then reverse I think it was out of boredom, some form of evolution - devolution. Anyway a opiny say for a leathernecking of attention. (Report) Reply

  • Pradip Chattopadhyay (7/26/2013 6:26:00 AM)

    we need them far more than they need us and that's the undoing....need turns to greed and they start disappearing. This poem is a reminder. Thanks Diane. (Report) Reply

  • David Wood (7/26/2013 5:08:00 AM)

    What are we doing to our seas? Soon even the leatherback will be in decline. A good write Diane. (Report) Reply

Read all 12 comments »

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