A Change of Mind About Sharks

After years of needless fear
of creatures I will never face,
I’ve had a change of mind
about sharks being dangerous,
blood-crazed and murderous.

Last night, I watched a programme
about the wonders of the deep,
and marvelled at the pyjama shark,
a stripy type of cat-
shark (you know how I love cats).

It lives on the bottom of the ocean,
among kelp and rocky reefs,
spends most of the day motionless
until it senses octopus or squid,
cephalopods to chase and outwit.

It’s a clever one, preyed on
by other sharks, and harmless
to humans in the water,
yet it is hooked by anglers
and needlessly slaughtered.

Kim M. Russell, 14th December 2020

20+ Ocean Quotes: Wisdom from the Deep Blue ideas | ocean quotes, ocean,  quotes

My response to earthweal weekly challenge: Shark Poetry

Sherry is our host this Monday with a prompt about sharks. She tells us about a guy called Rob Stewart, who loves the creatures of the deep, especially sharks with which, she says, he swam, and found them ‘beautiful, mysterious and non-threatening’. After reading Sherry’s article, I am both shocked at the way they have been hunted and used in various products, and fascinated, but still wouldn’t want to come face to face with one.

For our challenge, we are writing about sharks, the ocean, shark fin soup, human predators, or whatever the article inspires. It could have been tricky if I hadn’t watched Blue Planet II yesterday, as I have had a fear of sharks for a long time – ridiculous considering I live on the North Sea coast – too cold for sharks!

Image of the Pyjama Shark curled up when attacked found on Pinterest

26 thoughts on “A Change of Mind About Sharks

  1. A double treat, your poem and Katie’s. Yay! I learned something. I had not heard of pyjama sharks, which do sound endearing. Hollywood movies taught us sharks are vicious, and there have been some attacks on humans. But not many. I wouldnt want to meet one in the water either, but was awed to watch Rob swimming with them. Now i am reading about elephants. Stay tuned!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds like my kind of shark, Kim, and easier to love than the ‘Jaws’ variety though as Sherry pointed out, we think of them as monsters when in fact our behaviour is more monstruous.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Blue Planet II has changed my attitude to sharks. The most amazing bit was when the octopus built itself a hideout from shells and corals – the shark could smell it but couldn’t work out where it was – at first. Then, when the shark had it in its grip, the octopus stuffed its tentacles in the shark’s gills so it couldn’t breathe and let the octopus go!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The ocean is a harsh mother — it’s eat or be eaten, dawn to dusk til eternity — And sharks were apex predators until humans came along and hunted them without mercy. “Jaws” that 70s movie inspired a killing spree like the one which drove vast herds of buffalo to the brink of extinction. So sad. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There must be many more creatures of the deep we have yet to discover, Brendan. hey must have all been swimming around and eating each other quite happily until humans took to the water.


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