Siphonophore

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Wheels within wheels,

interlocked

eyes that dot the rims.

10,000 outstretched arms

invite all comers,

wings encircle a glowing and ascendant

body.

From many,

a single entity.

An atomized chorus,

moving in synchrony

without consciousness,

nor dreams nor thoughts.

Order and chaos,

coalesce to form an

improvised symphony.

Each piece,

individual, indivisible

and interdependent,

living communally

serving the whole and

acting in concert.

The being,

older than time,

makes no demands,

states no pleas

only meanders

through darkness.

And we,

looking through our own reflections,

wish we could ask it

what it sees.


Bioluminescence

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Signs of life

glint in the corners of

my eyes.

Only giants sleep at ease

in the inky depths,

but there’s always something bigger,

hungrier

on the lookout.

I stare into the abyss,

and realize,

I’m falling right into it’s

dilated pupil.

Hold your breath,

and try to withstand

the pressure.

Packs of spineless marauders

jet through the void

with prying eyes and dazzling light.

They’re gone in a flash,

and if you’re unlucky,

so are you.

Specters wait patiently,

their torch held

right above a mouthful

of crossed rapiers.

Some take a different approach,

gliding through pitch black,

cancelling out their shadows,

sniffing out anyone else

trying to be inconspicuous.

Beware of bright beacons

there isn’t always

someone you’d like to meet

on the other side.


Hemocyanin

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You and I

have new blood,

The oxygen we need,

pulled from each breath,

is cradled

in a molecular nest,

and bound in iron:

scarlet Hemoglobin.

But our ancient ancestors,

and the still-living

relics of the copper age,

still hold to

their old ways.

It courses through their veins,

blue

like the patina

on a penny,

that’s seen

better days.

Red blood caught on,

but ours is not the only way.

Our cousins in the deep,

also well-travelled,

use azure Hemocyanin

it still works it’s magic,

just like ours

but matches their lifestyle,

working tirelessly

undaunted by cold,

darkness,

and depth.

Flesh and blood,

follow their own

rhyme and reason,

what falls out of fashion

can often still function,

in the right place,

at the right time

and in the right hands.

The Vampire Squid From Hell

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Hell’s ninth circle,

Cocytus,

was very different from the previous eight-

marked by eternal darkness,

freezing cold,

and pervasive lonesomeness.

Denied contact,

denied comfort,

denied death,

all within are peers,

with Earth’s

worst-of-the-worst,

as even the Devil himself

shares this fate.

In the ocean,

in depths so great,

not even light reaches,

lives Vampyroteuthis Infernalis:

Vampire Squid From Hell.

Black Sheep of the family

Vampyroteuthis’ environment

Demands no siphon,

Demands no camouflage,

Demands no color,

but, nevertheless, they make due,

and use the familiar deception,

to get by.

Bright blue,

pulsing photophores,

at the top of its head,

and tips of its tentacles

bring light,

to its dreary life,

and dissuade the monsters,

lurking in the shadows,

from attack.

It wraps,

its tentacles around its body,

exposing the bristles underneath,

to keep more brave beasts at bay.

But when it’s in real trouble,

it squirts ink,

thick and glary,

alive with dazling bacteria,

and closes the glowing “eyes”

on top of its head,

to foster the misconception,

it has gotten away.

The Vampire Squid,

cares little for your perception,

because what’s in a name?

It uses the hand it’s dealt,

and finds its daily bread,

by any means necessary.