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Poem: Squid Have Three Hearts

Books & Poetry

In today’s Poet’s Corner, Jan Napier ponders how three hearts would inspire more empathy than one.

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Squid Have Three Hearts

It’s the only shade on the beach,
canopy a sagging arc ancient and
shabby as grandma’s antimacassars.

It seems so strange here, a sea bloom
stranded but still standing against
the frisking wind, or a sibling unseen

since gold and blood split kin like fish
skins flayed from silver frames.
Squid have three hearts, swoop blue coolth

in family groups, rise at dusk, curiosity
caught by the quick stars of fishers’ lanterns,
darkness within released only to aid escape.

There’s no connection really, just tenderness,
and perhaps the small light of a lamp lit
by a dying son to call the lost one home.

Jan Napier is a Western Australian poet and short story writer whose work won the Creatrix online journal’s 2014 prize for poetry. Her writing has been published in journals and anthologies in Australia and overseas. She was a reviewer for online Antipodean SF from 2009 to 2012, while her poetry collection Thylacine was launched in September 2015. Last year she edited the Glen Phillips 50-year collection, In the Hollow of the Land, whilst her own poem, Joondalup Line, was short listed for the 2018 Australian Catholic University Award.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments. A poetry book will be awarded to each accepted contributor.

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