Roseanne Watt – The Moon Jellyfish

photo credit: Gisella Klein


Roseanne Watt
The Moon Jellyfish

We find them melting
by the shoormal, like dropped
scoops of translucent ice-cream,
the same morning

of the old fisherman’s funeral
at the chapel by our beach.
We’d seen the coffin going past
in a parade as slow as shadows

cast by summer clouds,
into the churchyard where
blind headstones watched us
playing daily with the waves.

The beach is filled with dead things.
Except the jellyfish. We know
they are immortal, so when
storms bring them to the shore

it is the most tragic sight – at least,
that’s what the fisherman said.
We want to save the jellyfish.
They ooze between our fingers

as we wade out to the shallows,
toss each into the softly crooning
waves. Inside some are purple
crescent moons; we think they

are the girls. We do not know
the jellyfish are folklore
a myth we’re offering the tide
to be rejected, for the dead

will continue being dead.
We know only the blank stones,
the deepening afternoon, and jellyfish
returning, dream-like, to shore.


Shoormal: the meeting point of the waves and the shore