Do Cephalopods Dream of Aquatic Sheep?

For Kerry’s Camera Flash prompt at Real Toads. Title is stolen from Philip K. Dick’s book upon which my favorite movie Blade Runner was based: Do Andreoids Dream of Electric Sheep. I am also posting this on Poets United Poetry Pantry

Do Cephalopods Dream of Aquatic Sheep?

“All those moments will be lost like tears in the rain.” Roy Batty, Blade Runner
You are dead now.
The rooms empty and forlorn –
Just a shell left behind.
I wonder if you were eaten
or if you died of old age.
How long do cephalopods live?
Long enough to build a home
with many rooms all lined with nacre.
Do cephalopods dream and weep as they dream?
Is that why their homes are lined with pearl?

Shell Edward Weston (1927)

25 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kerry
    Sep 01, 2018 @ 15:07:03

    Wow! Great title and quote, Toni. I love the direction you took this prompt. What an amazing conversation piece between poet and the shell.


  2. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Sep 01, 2018 @ 16:39:41

    First I do love the wink to the original title of Blade Runner… (so much better)… but I also love how you also saw more of a beautiful death in the shell… the tears and the pearl is a great reflection.

    Made me think of the fact that pearls are built from pain…


    • kanzensakura
      Sep 01, 2018 @ 17:47:02

      Thank you Bjorn. I remember watching them at the Duke U oceanic lab/museum. They were so intriguing and of course, they had a huge beautifully done sketch of the inside of the shell and of the animal that lives inside.


  3. Sherry Marr
    Sep 01, 2018 @ 16:44:43

    I love the questions…….in looking up this shell I discover they hark back to the time of some form of dinosaurs…………….wow.


    • kanzensakura
      Sep 01, 2018 @ 17:45:35

      And they swim by jet propulsion. The chambers act in the same way submarine ballasts do. I fell in love with them years and years ago after seeing them scooting around at the Duke U oceanic display.


  4. sanaarizvi
    Sep 01, 2018 @ 18:09:27

    That closing image is phenomenal! ❤ Love this, Toni!


  5. coalblack
    Sep 01, 2018 @ 19:16:49

    I’ve never seen Blade Runner, but i do have a copy of that book around here someplace. As for the cephalopod, who knows what they dream about? it would be interesting to know.


  6. coalblack
    Sep 01, 2018 @ 19:24:18

    ps–I’ve never seen either Logan’s Run or Blade Runner because i confused them with Midnight Run, which I loathed.


    • kanzensakura
      Sep 01, 2018 @ 19:28:10

      The original Blade Runner is in my top five favorite movies. Ridley Scott did an amazing job of direction.


    • kanzensakura
      Sep 01, 2018 @ 19:33:50

      I too loathed Midnight Run. Blade Runner was mos def NOT midnight run or Logan’s Run. The ending of Blade Runner was phenomenal – all the more so because Rutger Hauer totally winged his last speech and the take was kept in.

      Sent from Mail for Windows 10



  7. kim881
    Sep 02, 2018 @ 02:58:12

    I’m with Kerry and Bjorn on this one, Toni. Firstly, wow! Great title and quote and the questions really made me think. I also the wink to the original title of Blade Runner and how you explored the inner life and the death of the cephalod, its ‘rooms empty and forlorn – / Just a shell left behind…all lined with nacre’.


  8. Rosemary Nissen-Wade
    Sep 02, 2018 @ 04:21:54

    A poem quite heart-rending in its beauty!


  9. anmol(alias HA)
    Sep 02, 2018 @ 10:11:50

    Ah, I love it — its allusions and its conversational tone are so well done. And that ending is a gem, it makes me wonder.


  10. Marian
    Sep 02, 2018 @ 10:17:13

    Good questions! And so clever.


  11. Wendy Bourke
    Sep 02, 2018 @ 18:13:48

    Love this! You’ve taken an interesting direction in this intriguing/inspired, somewhat conversational piece, that carries your reader along to a fascinating and unique finish.


  12. Vivian Zems
    Sep 02, 2018 @ 20:24:04

    A lovely piece, Toni. Love the direction your imagination took you.


  13. purplepeninportland
    Sep 02, 2018 @ 21:17:54

    Tears reflected in pearl. I love that image.


  14. oldegg
    Sep 03, 2018 @ 07:11:12

    Perhaps we mere humans get worked up too much about nacre in its various forms when in fact it is not much more that wallpaper for the mollusc. Whereas we were but a bite to eat by dinosaurs at a diner on their trip to see some relatives !


  15. dsnake1
    Sep 03, 2018 @ 08:09:34

    a great response to the prompt.
    liked the question in the last line. perhaps they do weep.


  16. Mary
    Sep 03, 2018 @ 12:09:57

    Beautiful. I really like the last two lines…the contemplating. Perhaps the ‘pearl’ is made of the tears of cephalopods. Why not!!


  17. Shannon Blood
    Sep 03, 2018 @ 17:33:43

    Weeping, dreams, pearls . . . magical, wistful. This was lovely!


  18. Pat: willow88switches
    Sep 03, 2018 @ 18:30:04

    Wonder filled for the slow-tone questioning and unknown answers. Which just add the depth to this, the richness of the spirals, slowly unfolding into their gentle curves. This is most definitely very atmospheric and for some reason, I almost feel like I’m underwater as I read, sort of drifting and spying as this all plays out.


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