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The tale of the elusive octopus

November 8, 2000
The Iranian


Once upon a time

There was a little octopus

With long elegant tentacles

When she whirled in the water

The starfish gazed

The seahorses boasted:


"Watching our lithe leaps

the octopus has learned well."


(Only the old watchful whale

knew better.)


If she grabbed

It was lovingly

And only upon invitation

What she grabbed


At the feel of her enveloping arms

And her soft embrace

That took all in

became a world


The lantern fish

envied her brightness

The mermaids

thought her a flaunt


(Only the old watchful whale

knew in silence.)


These days

She is somber

Her round graceful form

In reticent rebellion

As her own kind

have called her the devilfish.


She will leave these waters soon.


If you see her in your seas


Surrender and be held

By the magnanimity of her beauty

Or the sweeping reality

of a once impossible dream

Will strike you petty

And mar your vision.


Then, before you regroup

She will be gone.


(The old watchful whale

Hinted at this much.)


Sunday, April 30, 2000

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Roya Hakakian

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