ODE OF AN OCTOPUS
Eight tentacles I'll raise
To our Creator's praise
Who's made us Octopi so wondrous rare:
My three hearts throb and beat
With grateful love complete
For Mother Ocean and her circling care.
Our suction cups hold tight
To prey or parasite
While we, with pointed beaks, begin to pray
With thanks for clams and snails
Squid, shrimp, and lobster tails:
A perfect seafood dinner every day.
At birth, we're quite petite,
At death, stretch thirty feet,
And making love ranks high among our stunts,
We're fifty kinds, they say,
And sometimes we will lay
One hundred eighty thousand eggs at once.
Some look at us and shriek
Because we're so unique,
And call us Devilfish! But they don't think!
Could any but God's pet
Evade each mortal threat
By disappearing into clouds of ink?
Attackers we confuse,
Then suddenly change hues!
Blue, brown, pink, purple, red or white or gray!
Amazing! Thus we be
Evangelist for Thee:
The very thought of us makes people pray!
Our great bright eyes explore
The deepest ocean floor
Where you Dark Mystery glimmers unsurpassed,
We trust you'll not forsake us
Till age and death shall take us
Into your cosmic hugging arms a last.
from the forthcoming book Prayers of 100 Animals A to Z, by William Cleary