I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

23 November 2013

Ode to the Remora

I love the idea
of this ray-finned
sucking fish,
its oval dorsal fin
with slat-like
to take firm hold
against the skin
of larger mammals.

They attach
to some poor wretch
of shark or whale,
turtle or dugong
or mantua ray.
Holding tight,
they look like
little silver ripples
on its hide.

That is,
they hitch a ride.
I guess it’s faster,
even though
they swim well
on their own
with sinuous
or curved

Many but small,
they travel together,
feeding on what
the host drops.
Some hide
in the great casket
of the host’s mouth

the host
eats them!
It’s a life
lazy but
prone to

Poetic Asides November Poem A Day Chapbook Challenge: day 22, use at least three of these words ( used four):

·       ideogram
·       remora
·       casket
·       eclipse
·       selfie
·       wretch

Many of the phrases used were found in the Wikipedia article; some quoted verbatim.
Also submitted for dVerse Form For All: an ode in the style of Neruda, i.e. short lines, concrete images, real-life objects. They’re supposed to celebrate the ordinary; I departed somewhat from that! 


  1. yikes...i knew about them eating in the mouth...i dont know that i ever thought of them being eaten...yikes...that def could make for some scary living...ha...interesting choice on ode....

    1. It all started with the word. I had to look up 'remora' and was fascinated by what I found. :)

  2. Maybe not ordinary in the usual sense, but who would think to write a praise poem to these fish and the risky life they lead, so definitely in the spirit of Neruda's odes.

    As always, Rosemary, your facility with words shines through.

    PS - I fixed the link for you; there is no (2) any more ... smiles

    1. Oh, thank you for the nice comments, Tony, and also for fixing the link.

  3. I knew about these fish but didn't know what they were called. Now I know more about them. Nice choice for an ode and a lovely words.

  4. Very clever poem! I liked how you give us so much information in a very poetic way.