Odyssey from Africa 9b

Odyssey from Africa 
Chapter 9b (continued)

And this pattern was repeated 
On the following day's journey 
As the day turned into evening 
They again found rocky shoreline 
So once more they hunted shellfish 
This time needing to dive deeper 
And the children now competed
In the deepness of their diving
Lisa filled her lungs and plunging
Deeper than her brother Matto
Swam toward a rocky reef face 
Looked for brightly coloured scallops 
From the reef a frond extended
Soft, unfolding, lined with suckers
Grabbing Lisa by one ankle
Pulled her down to murky darkness 
Matto, trying to out-do her
Deepest dive saw Lisa struggling
For an instant glimpsed the terror
In her eyes, then had to surface 
Matto called out to his father
That an octopus had Lisa!
Han was too far off to save her,
Shouted back with dire instructions 
Matto grimaced at the prospect 
But without a moment's pausing 
Turned back to the sea and leaping,
Pitched into the foamy water 
Diving swiftly to the reef-face
Matto saw the monstrous mollusc
Tentacles wrapped all round Lisa
To its ugly beak it pulled her

As its bulbous eyes fixed on him
Matto swam straight at the creature
Sank his teeth between those eyeballs
Biting deep into the brainstem
Then he bit again, yet deeper
Cloudy darkness spread all round them
As the octopus, now dying 
Squirted ink into the water
Matto reached and found his sister
Wrenched aside the clinging tendrils
And the siblings, lungs near bursting 
Swam up to the shimmering sunlight 
As they broke the surface, gasping 
Han was by them in the water
Strong arms helped the children shoreward 
Only Kwona staying land-bound
Wearing the Ipiki necklace
And with Rosy close beside her
Who was anxious and disquieted
Seeing Lisa in the water
Where the monkey could not follow
Now both parents hugged their children
Once again they celebrated 
Rescue from a deadly danger 
Lisa rested in the sunlight 
With her mother sitting by her
Han and Matto turned however 
Back toward the breaking sea swells
Diving both beneath the surface 
Down they swam toward the reef-face
Saw the octopus which strangely
Was contorted in its dying

Two sand sharks already circled
Round the octopus now drifting 
Limply in the swirling eddies 
Han and Matto took a handhold
On a tentacle and lifting 
Both together swimming upward 
Raised the now distending mollusc
Languidly toward the surface

Copyright © | Year Posted 2017

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