Animal poems - Jellyfish

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NOTE: This page is a daughter page of: Animal poems


     ... ancient, beautiful, cruel

When was the last time you lay back and listened, truly closely, to the sound of the ocean?
The relaxing sounds of waves as they slowly encroach on the shore.
The soothing underwater melodies of the deep seas,
Natural and tranquil oscillations, forming soft music to the ears.

And floating through these sounds and waves is the mysterious jellyfish,
Of all ocean creatures, it is this soft yet deadly creature that most epitomizes the nature of the sea.
An ancient race of drifting predators and the oldest of all multi-organ animals,
Floating the deep oceans of earth, five hundred million years before humans arrived and observed the waves.

Time tested inveterate navigators of ocean currents, with a graceful gyrating dance to move them towards and away from the light, from one sea to another.

Mysterious, surely, that a creature without head or brain, is able to see.
Vision without mind, without spine and without heart, creating a force to be feared by all who enter salt water.
No other animal, like the immortal jellyfish, able to live forever.
No other animal, like the jellyfish, can form such intricate symmetrical translucent patterns, as their bodies form vortex rings and dance through never-ending seas.

These are the gelatinous hunters of the ocean waves.
Where the oceans kiss blue skies, they transition from solitary travelers, into a magnificent swarm.
Numbers bloom and a deadly net formed.
The smallest fish, to the largest of mammals can fall prey, ensnared in their stinging net. A horrible death ensues, and slowly the paralyzed prey is drawn in and eaten alive.

From a distance, the ocean is a blue and tranquil wonderland,
But to get closer, is to realize the ocean can be a cruel and unforgiving place.
Brutal waves smash into the rocks, and death exists in every corner,
The calming vision of glassy blue waters entices the naïve traveler to his end.

So is this true for the venerable jellyfish.
A vision of transparent beauty will draw you near,
But to get to close is to be ensnared in its trap.
To get to close is to feel its poisonous sting digging towards your heart.

Such is the deception of a jellyfish. A beautiful trap and a beautiful lie,
Or perhaps we should appreciate that it is commonly the most beautiful of creatures on earth that are the cruelest to us.
We learn to fear it and admire from afar, because the jellyfish is as the ocean.
Beautiful yet cruel.

            -- by Andrew Noske

About this Poem...

Animal: Jellyfish
Description/motivation: Unlike most animal poems in my series, this is not dedicated to a single person. Surely who, would chose a jellyfish as a spirit animal for themselves. I would thank, however, my wonderful unique friend Brianna Schwanke (who's spirit animal is a "butterfly-eagle-dolphin-unicorn") for painting a lovely picture of a jellyfish, and for painting just a few words "gelatinous hunter" which inspired me to write my first poem about an invertebrate. True to my nature, there's some interesting education thrown in here because I learnt a couple of fascinating new things when I looked up jellyfish. I already knew that box jellyfish had a complex system of eyes (eyes without a brain), but it surprised me that there's a species of Jellyfish, the immortal jellyfish (Turritopsis dohrnii) which effectively ages backwards and can potentially live forever. Jellyfish are surely amazing! They've been around far longer than the dinosaurs, and the jellyfish half a billion years ago were similar to those we see today. Growing up in Australia I have a lot of respect for jellyfish - especially the box jellyfish - the longest animal in the world. I have only been stung once so far, but it was a fascinating lesson in life.

This is one in a serious of poems I've written about various animals. The motivation, is that I love the idea of spirit animals, and I decided, one day, to ask many of my friend what animal they think best represents their personality. In some cases the poems are written with the person in mind... and sometimes it's purely about the animal. Read more about my process here. If you love this poem or want another written please e-mail me at :-)
This is an original poem by me!