Thursday, October 4, 2018

"Thirty-Two Tentacles" poem by Michele Krueger for #OctopusMonth

Thirty-Two Tentacles*
by Michele Krueger

An octopus, almost
was by profession,
a fish school librarian.

But when her daughter
gave birth to quadruplets,
she packed up and left
to begin knitting bootlets.

She knitted so swiftly
sparks flew all around her.
She quite inadvertently
fried a poor flounder!

Thirty-two tentacles
needing protection
tickled the talents
of Grandma’s affection.

She quickly completed
her motherly duties,
and gave to her grandkids
those thirty -two booties!
Isn't that fun? Big thanks to Michele for sending it along -- and for giving the world so many lovely poems in so many anthologies! (Be sure to read Michele's "Art Teacher" in SCHOOL PEOPLE!) 

*A word about "tentacles": I learned in my research that octopuses don't actually have tentacles -- only arms. (Actually some scientists have suggested 2 legs and 6 arms!) Turns out arms have suckers all along them, and tentacles only have suckers on the end... so no tentacles! But because Michele's poem is fantastical -- and one of the things we all love about poetry is "no rules! no rules!" -- she opted to leave in the tentacles.

This poem also fits in well with our Spiritual Journey Thursday theme of "humor." Be sure to visit Jan at bookseedstudio for more posts about humor! 

As for me & humor, well, it's fitting that this post is coming during #OctopusMonth... because LOVE, AGNES is my first "funny" book. Here is an image of a Tweet from Thea Baker, who decided to illustrate this book -- proof! :)

I know I need humor in my life. I mean, life is just better, when one can find the humor in it, and not take things so seriously (as is my tendency). Fortunately I live with a funny man who also calls me "the fun girl in the house." (Yes, I am the only girl in the house! :) The point is he appreciates my humor, and he helps me so much to lighten up.

Something that helped me recently in terms of humor was listening to author Jeff Anderson talk about humor in his books. He opened by asking us, the audience, what we thought was funny. Hands went up for various topics, and no one topic caused everyone to raise their hands. 

#octopuslove from Jan!
Probably this is obvious to everyone else, but it just struck me: humor is individual. What one person thinks is funny, is not necessarily funny to someone else. And for some reason that felt like a revelation and freed me in a way... just like books or food or art, whatever we think is funny is just right, because it's funny to US. 

Here it is put another way: there's nothing wrong if we don't find something funny that others find funny. We're all different. And when we do find someone who can share a funny moment with us? It's really magical, isn't it? It's a way of connecting that's precious and truly feeds the soul and renews one's faith. 

Thank you, Jan, for inviting us to reflect on this! And for being a funny, inspiring, ever-thoughtful friend. xo


  1. Love Michele's poem, especially the fourth stanza which tickled this Grandma. Such an interesting reflection on humor, Irene. I consider myself the straight girl in our house. I live with a funny man too. He keeps me from taking myself and life too seriously. Funny moments are truly magical connections!

  2. Love that the Michele's octopus is "a fish school librarian"!

    I'm reading an adult book now that I'm finding to be laugh-out-loud funny, French Exit by Patrick deWitt. But, I know for sure, not everyone is going to like it!

  3. I love those thirty-two booties! And thanks for the humor!

  4. Hello dear Irene,

    Look-ee the laughter your Agnes inspired in creative Michele Krueger!
    I am a giggle gal, keeping track of all the legs & leg covers.

    Appreciations for creating your Agnes & for the shout out.


  5. Such a clever poem. My students and I adored Agnes and her sense of humor. Humor is absolutely personal. Thanks for this post.


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