Poem: The Squid



The diaphanous squid darting
so fast even the shark can't approach.
Its propulsion system, jet-like water streams, never
allows anyone, anything near.
Like dust specks in the air they evade
touching
except
once
on the penultimate day of their lives.
Clinging, male, female, their tentacles
searching to touch, to place, sperm with egg.
Copulating, couples, threesomes, foursomes, by the billions,
a fog of squid above the ocean floor.

And the shark, and the porpoise, swordfish and salmon streak
with funnel-like mouths through the squid cloud.
The clumping squid in their frenzy seek even
to touch, to mate with, their predators.

The nuptial night ended, lying like snowdrifts
upon the ocean bottom, males spent, dead; and females
struggle to eject their egg capsules, then
their function completed, join their mates.
Saprophytes converge
in a day, in two, the bottom
barren again except
speckling the sand waiting,
the eggs.

-- Richard Fein