Napping pyjama catsharks

Friday poem: Shoal of Sharks

The description of sharks as our “perpetual and perfect kin” is wonderful.

Poetry aside, this account reminds me of my darling friend Sharon, who once beached herself (in a head to toe pink wetsuit) at Llandudno, riding out of the sea and up the sand on her bodyboard, croaking “SHAAAARK!” in warning about the fins she had seen in the water. A lifeguard at whose feet she had landed looked down at her in resignation and replied “Dolphins.” (I am aware that a dolphin is not a porpoise.)

No one likes a pedant, but the collective noun for sharks is a shiver.

Shoal of Sharks – Richard O’Connell

“Oh, look at all the porpoise!” someone shouted
While passengers ran to snap their cameras;
But what they leaned toward was a shoal of sharks
Before us, moving like a floating island:
A seething multitude of tails and fins
Fleeing the fury of a hurricane
Hundreds of miles away. They splashed and swarmed.
Slashing the sea to threads of hissing foam
Beneath us, tossing bellies to the sun.
Staring into the blood pits of our eyes
Ferocious for the flesh and stench of us.
Lucky for us high on our high-tech ark
Looking back on life’s primeval broth
At such perpetual and perfect kin.

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Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.

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