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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Song of Paul - Octopus vulgaris

After the World Cup, our bandit curled up,
     perched atop his strand of pink coral.
Of all life on the reef, he stood tall in relief,
    Of course that octopus was Paul.

Perhaps an alien inhabited the brain,
     of our cephalopod bookie so damned,
Monoped shellfish claim these octopoid hell-fish,
     Scam gamblers for dinners of clams.

Around a tank stood, beer lovers from the hood,
    a TV in the bar was playing.
They all knew it was Paul, that sage of football,
   Swam in that seawater aquarium.

Paul loosened a long arm, and sucked up a song:
     "They've upgraded my lodgings since winning.
Much money's been made by visitors who've paid,
      Respects to my soccer ball singing.

"The vuvuzela song was a wave that's long gone,
       Their faith in Aristotle was mistaken.
Cause and effect, if my physics is correct,
       Was the reason Germany got shaken.
"Uruguay will rust, Holland drowned by Spanish dust",
     the sage old octopus chimed.
"In my professional life, as a bookmaker on ice,
     I never complained, or once whined.

"Life at behest of my barkeeper's jest,
   That his clients would lose to a pet.
Such was my karma, to excel at the dharma,
   Betting what's soft and what's wet.

"I constructed a temple, thank God I'm kept single,
     They granted me a bit more space.
I may straighten one tentacle while scraping off barnacles,
     from the walls of this glass carapace.

"Some short time ago - oceanic time is so slow,
     I cemented my cephalopoid fame.
I picked eleven winners, in return for my dinner
     And surpassed all fauna in name.

"You might say the internet, broadcast my dinner bet,
    And affected the outcome I'd agree.
My achievements were mortal, all for some morsels,
    Of clams that died for my creed.

"I'd could spin you tall tales, of sea monsters and whales,
    told by the lore of the sea.
The list of my heroes, is long although feral,
    Indulge while I sing to you three."

Three brunettes had just sauntered, towards the tank that Paul haunted,
     perched atop a pink coral remnant.
"How exquisitely formed!" one exclaimed so absorbed.
     "With eyes and brains, he's clearly brilliant!"

Paul overheard, so blushed pink at her words:
     "I practice the art of deep learning . . .
I'm glad you took notice, of my feats as a novice,
     when I selected the eight teams with discerning."

The beauty inferred, 'By what method, by what word?
     The thoughts this creature is sharing!
He knows how to entrain, his ideas towards my brain,
     'And so bridges our language barrier!'

"I broadcast my thoughts, via neural onslaughts
     radio waves so tuned to your brain.
That when you stand near me, I swear you can hear me,
     The tales I'm about to entrain . . .

"I'll enlighten you a bit, as you pull up to sip,
     that beer you just got at the bar.
Beauties listen closely, as I spell out a bit grossly,
     how we cephalopods have gotten thus far . . .

"The history of AI, is nothing to my . . .
     ability to boot up quickly.
Any subject you choose I'll learn and you'll lose,
  It's a matter of octal programming.

"Nerves will learn better, in an environment that is wetter,
     I soaked up what was taught at the Center.
A squid whispered tips on a technique to read lips,
    Ecologists became my close mentors.

"The news of the Times, does no justice to brine,
     the citizens of the sea are exploited.
Editors at the Post will have to play host,
     To denizens of the deep re-anointed.

"On the phone through the glass, from TV and in class,
     they speak of my neural network.
But none can surpass, the reality of that task,
     seven victories at prophetic bet-work,
"English is no trick - Octopus makes you sick,
     You haven't the stomach to watch it.
It's a light show of tentacles - not one limb writes identical,
      No one'll unravel our Gorgon logic.

"Back in the day, before evolution held sway,
     there was an early innovation of sex.
The birth of the mollusks, 'whatever' said Wallace,
     had Darwin most throughly perplexed.

"With my hectocotylus - think penis or think stylus -
     I write verse for the octopus nation.
This limb number three, I could offer to thee,
     then grow another by self-generation.

"A professor last week - I overheard him in speech,"
     joked Paul,  "said we're born of an alien race.
It doesn't make sense, our genome's so immense,
     Our proteins contend for first place.

"Of cephalopod suckers - think kisses that pucker -
     two-thousand does seem like a lot.
After counting eight limbs, it seems more like a sin,
     To have science so tied in a knot.

"Before I commence mumbling, about amorous tumbling,
     I'll get on with my tales in cadence.
I promised thee three, about the life in the sea,
     then take it a bit more X-rated."

"To remain in the sea - we're not plain but we're tasty,
   seems contrary to becoming archival.
Before I recount, let me divulge from my mount,
    the art of cephalopod survival.

"As a species we're fed, from birth by the web,
     On knowledge of the sea that surround us.
We gather the facts, and use them to match hats,
    That masterfully do camouflage us.

"Our eyes surmise texture, and analyze the deep structure,
    Of coral and anemone blossoms.
We pinch up our surfaces, to rhyme like these verses,
   With the flora and fauna on the bottom.

"In brains versus brawn, octopi have outrun,
    All reptiles, mammals and fishes,
Cephalopod three-hundred, like Spartans outnumbered,
     some have unfortunately gone missing.

"An Aussie-ringed cousin, once learned to use poison,
     as a chemical line of defense.
A tidal pool dweller, with azure markings so stellar,
    Spelled 'don't touch' to the birds that had sense.

"Another technique, for eight legs on the slink,
     is an cloud of melanin that stings,
It balances the equation, to jet away in evasion,
     in hopes that a predator rethinks.

"We've given up hard homes, we never had bones,
     Our children trade up what they find.
An old cousin's shell, or a junk sandbox pail,
     Will house them just perfectly fine.

"When octopeds get large, they needn't go forage,
     when wandering out on safari.
They sit in disguise, with photo luminescent dyes,
     our delectable flesh calamari.

"Once set up on top, of a coral outcrop,
     Color and texture to match.
When along swims some dinner, there's an octopus winner,
     and a crab to go up the hatch.

"Like humans we're soft, though not nearly so daft,
     As warriors we employ Musashi's strategy.
We reach out and tap, a shrimp on its back,
     So it swims right into our cavity.

"'Midst sharks and barracudas, in the dark sit like Buddha -
     in brains we're highly invested.
We co-ordinate eight arms, to avoid violence and harm -
     Our cerebellums have thoroughly been tested.

"On this topic of brains, let me now entertain,
     a mollusky tale of collusion.
How one octopus scholar, untwisted the top on a jar,
     and then threw his lab in confusion.

"After doctors went home, this octopus would roam,
     invading tanks with profusion.
He swallowed snails, the fish in their pails,
     then retreated to conceal his intrusion.

"He pulled shut his cover, when night missions were over,
     then watched the blame-game begin.
'Who stole from our lab? Who robbed all the crabs?'
     The PhD's were dismayed to their kin.

"A question was suggested, by lab tech who whispered,
     'Perhaps it's an eight-armed felon.'
But how could this morsel, of jelly corpuscles,
     navigate a dry floor with such talent?

"In an octopus escape, one becomes thin as a crepe,
    There isn't a void we can't wiggle free.
Cephalopod prisoners like Marseillaise safe-pickers,
    learn to pick locks with a paperclip key.

"He lowered himself down, suckers wound-round,
     the legs of tables and furniture.
Filling his mantle, with seawater he made gentle,
     his crawl across the dry tile desert.

"He squirted a puddle, across which he scuttled,
     then climbed each aquarium in turn.
Raiding the mollusks, he dined them in solace,
     and by dawn returned to his berm.

"Back to our story, I hope you won't worry,
    that our hero dried up on a rug.
Not at all, I enthrall, with a tale that's not tall,
  How this Octopus vulgaris got caught.

"The simplest of brains, displays intelligence in spades,
     the complex of Mensa chosen.
Survival on the reef is not easily achieved,
     with defenses of speed, ink or poison.

"We octopi hide with genius inside,
     Camouflage is better than evasion.
Sun Tzu's strategy of war, is indeed at our core,
     Passed to the next octopoid generation.

"And now that your here, I'll play to your ears,
    And explain how we octopi do it.
No need for protection from this x-rated section,
    Deep down you already knew it.

"Using eight arms gives a lover great charms;
     We males use an arm . . . as a penis.
It's not even bony, nor a fossil that's stony,
     Ideal for the octopus Venus.

The Colossus of Rhodes wasn't embarrassed to show,
    the rock that made him a God.
His statues on Delos, most definitely do tell us,
   of the thing that's so shaped like a rod.

Unlike a codfish, the cephalopod wishes
     To give a baculum's to his octopus Eve.
The tradition's to donate, a piece of his stone age,
    That rises from his tentacled weave.

"We'll often be urged, when out on a splurge,
     Take it off to donate as a flower!
She takes it right home to nurture with foam,
     and impregnate with cephalopoid power.

"The octopus bed, suddenly turns red,
     Exodermus and suckers to match.
A Pacific Striped Venus, takes hold what's keenest,
     in hopes of the sperm she will catch.

"One kiss beak to beak, a shudder and squeak,
     a great tangle of limbs get inspected.
The octopoid liturgy gets mumbled in synergy,
     DNA gets suddenly injected.

A painful admission, about cephalopoid emission,
     Bonding with Octopussy but once.
A sad truth to divulge, is that once we find love,
    We dry up and die, like a dunce.
The secret to living, for an octopus that's winning,
   Never provide him a dame.
A octopus bookie who successfully avoids nooky,
    Will live to make poetry fame.

This is part II of 'Song of Paul', for Part I go here.

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