" Paul the Octopus, who rose to worldwide fame for correctly
predicting the winner of several World Cup 2010 games,
died at the age of two and a half. "—The Washington Post
Stop all the conches. Tell the walrus not to moan.
Tell the seahorse not to whinny in the algae bloom alone.
But let the calamari on some Captain Nemo's plate
Grow cold and stale to symbolize our octopus's fate.
The Taps-playing trumpet fish, the sirens of Capri,
The mermaids and the mermen, please do not sing to me;
Music is not needed now for all I hear instead
Is the record playing backwards the message: Paul Is Dead.
He was my Madame Rosalie. He was my crystal ball.
He was my octo-oracle, my telepathic Paul.
He had more premonitions than all other octopi;
I could not see death coming, now all I do is scry.
Throw the tea leaves in the rubbish, pack the Tarot cards away–
Charms and divinations are not wanted on this day.
There is nothing to prognosticate. There is nothing to discuss.
Let the seven seas fall silent: I have lost my octopus.
(First published in Measure and winner of the 2012 XJ Kennedy Parody Award.)