Jellyfish Jam #poetry #Earthweal

Jellyfish jam
sugar-coated with spam
‘But I’m already dead’
the jellyfish said:

‘I’m your mushroom-cloud
polyurethane shroud
and I’m blooming without 
while within there’s a drought

and it isn’t your fault;
it was never your fault:
you were such a success 
populating this mess

but I’m taking my leave
there’ll be time yet to grieve
for my kind when we’re gone
and the ocean’s forlorn.

But your doubts and your fears
can you drown them with tears?
Like you’ve drowned your own kind
I’d say ‘time out of mind.’

Jellyfish jam
still I am what I am
as I’ve only just said
I am already dead.’

© Experimentsinfiction 2021, All Rights Reserved

Written for Earthweal

This week at Earthweal, Brendan has given us the following challenge:

For this challenge, write about Already Dead. What does Already Dead look and feel like, what echoes do you hear in the registers of extinction, what gifts and/or freedoms does it bestow?

I granted myself the freedom to channel my inner Edward Lear for this poem.

Jellyfish are fascinating creatures: just take a look at this article. Though the poem discusses jellyfish dying out, they are literally blooming at the moment due to changes in climactic conditions. However, if all of the other ocean creatures die out, I do not believe jellyfish (like the rest of us) stand much of a chance in the long run.

The featured image is of a barrel jellyfish. I’ve been seeing these a lot recently. We couldn’t decide whether this one was alive, or already dead. It had one tentacle missing so I suspect its days were numbered.

31 thoughts on “Jellyfish Jam #poetry #Earthweal

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  1. Fun read. I wanted to dance. Would made a great kids book! You must have been smiling the whole time you wrote this, except for it’s sad reality.

  2. I love jellyfish. Such magical creatures. I smiled at “the rhyming in your closing stanza, though the closing line is bleak. I love the “jellyfish jam. I am what I am.” Wonderful!

  3. On the surface, a fun flowing read, that is carefully crafted. The truth and depth behind the words is sad. I recently saw a show that featured the catching of glowing squid for human consumption. Heartbreaking. Such beautiful creatures that should be left alone. 😭 (puns intentionally intended 😉)

    1. Thank you, Michele. I saw lots of poor jellyfish all getting washed up on the beach yesterday. A worrying sign that nature is out of balance. I hope you don’t have snow in Arizona! ❄️❤️🙏

      1. Sad. 😢 It does seem nature is out of balance. Several regions in the US are experiencing record freezing temps. 🥶 Deadly weather for some. It is typical for higher elevations in Arizona to have snow this time of year, but, in the valley where I am, this is not common. Strangely enough… several spots did have a sprinkling of snow with our last rainfall a few weeks ago. It is odd to see saguaro cactus covered in snow. ❄ 🌵 😲

    1. Yes, it’s quite worrying all of these little signs, then the bigger signs like Texas being frozen. I hope you’re warm and well where you are!

  4. An Edward Lear/Lewis Carroll/John Lennon mash-up, I think! I love this ‘no nonsense’ poem, Ingrid! My favourite lines:
    ‘I’m your mushroom-cloud
    polyurethane shroud
    and I’m blooming without
    while within there’s a drought’.
    Poor old jellyfish.

  5. ‘Tis said as the oceans acidify from digesting so much CO2, jellyfish populations will explode in direct proportion to the collapse of fisheries. But what can live in a hot ocean? The sing song here takes a devastating phrase like “already dead” and weaves it in its nursery nightmare. Well done – Brendan

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