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Saturday, 3 July 2010




Medusa (Aurelia aurita), Océarium de Croisic, France: photo by Stéphanie De Nadal, 2005

In the fragile coiling

of evening

a few things

standing in


for themselves

through thin fog

silver fades

into deep blue



(meant to

write strings)


Moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita), Monterey Bay Aquarium: photo by Fastily, 2009

File:Aurelia aurita (aka).jpg

Moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita): photo by André Karwath, 2007




"a few things/ standing in/ tentatively, for themselves" -- yes. . . . "jellyfish," as Johnny says, (seeing photos)


light coming into sky above still black
ridge, half moon above planet by branch
in foreground, wave sounding in channel

multiplicity of points, that
might be one going away

the moment between moves, is
actually, instantaneous

cloudless blue sky reflected in channel,
cormorants flapping across toward point

Sandra (if) said...

so delicate...lovely!

Julia said...

I love medusas. So beautiful but so harmful!

Radish King said...

I have seen and counted the medusas here. They are splendid and usually accompanied by the little jellies and a lot of the little jellies. I have counted 85 and I know there were more. Thank you for this. They are so beautiful and dangerous and other worldly.


Radish King said...

ps. Tom, I am quite overwhelmed at finding these beauties here and I ran out of words my mouth went numb so if I sound goofy you'll know why. I have been counting and recording our (my) jellies for so long that I feel a great kinship.

Radish King said...

Moonsprings is perfectly

Ed Baker said...


is the perfect word in the perfect spot
doing it s job

I was "thinking" tentacle


when i went to summer camp Camp Friendship

in mid 1950's to go swim you had to ALWAYS
go with "buddy"

we'd go to the end o the pier and dive off and into/trough an inflated

well on day I dove in and came up in the midst of a school of JELLY FISH!

my "buddy" that day happened to be a girl lifeguard I was about 10 she about 17

she dove in and saved my ass!

she saved me from drowning and an head-to-toe paste of Baking Soda saved me from the pain. I was swollen up for 2wo weeks.

my Chinese fried, Robert E. Lee used to pick jelly-fish out of the water by their backs put them in a bucket

dry them out on wax-paper in the sun then fry them up and eat 'em!

Anonymous said...

What a mesmerizing creature. I guess its hypnotic power is even more powerful than its poison...

TC said...

It's inspiring so severalish of us have had the chance to wiggle about a bit with jellyfish, even if only in our dreams and nightmares, they are a mysterious and deep creation of the great poetry god called phenomenal nature.

Yes, delicate things they are, Sandra; and yes, dangerous too, as Julia is wise to remind us (wiser than I once was: see below.)

This feels very right:

"...mesmerizing creature. I guess its hypnotic power is even more powerful than its poison..." (Lucy)

Eighty-five is a very great many, Rebecca. That big one under your pier sounds like a real beauty.

And while on nature's miracles, this --

" Chinese fried, Robert E. Lee used to pick jelly-fish out of the water by their backs put them in a bucket..."

brilliantly sidetracked me for an instant into dixie fricasees happening in Chinese frying pans.

That sort of thing doesn't happen every day (well, night either). One can't but give thanks.

As Ed has generously retold his electrifying jellyfish encounter, I must, I suppose (?), confess mine. It occurred long ago in a faraway land & c.

I should have known better, but that's pretty much life-story with me.

Two nights ago the memory narrative of it again made like a wet sparkler dripping into the deep dark bucket of the brain with a smouldering fizzle, for one moment.

The encounter felt like, to quote Stephen, a burning

multiplicity of points

... and I thought, this is about close as to a Fourth of July fireworks show as we are probably going to to get.

Curtis Roberts said...

"moonsprings/meant to/write strings" produces an amazing effect, but so does the entire poem and the photos, which ALMOST got me over my fear of jellyfish.

TC said...

Know what you mean about the fear of jellyfish, Curtis.

Unpleasant phobic aversion, founded in natural instinctive dread of something deeply terrifying?

Or normal feeling of healthy respect for another lifeform, requiring a certain distance?

Maybe a bit of each.

Maybe it's that they don't have cute faces. A problem with more than a few species.

No, it's more than that, very few species can produce in one that odd shuddery sensation they used to call "the fear of God".

In that sense one might go so far as to say they are pretty little slices of God... only not always so little.

TC said...

A big Medusa swimming.

The dance of the Medusas: "mesmerizing... hypnotic".

Curtis Roberts said...

"Pretty little slices of God". That will stay with me and probably be therapeutic. I've read lots of books about fish and marine creatures and love the ocean more than just about anything, but still they've always remained "other" to me and essentially terrifying. The several films of jellyfish in action are amazing and I'll share them with Jane and her school friend later. They remind me of 2001: A Space Odyssey in their extraordinary beauty, but of course they're "real".