The Ocean National


Get ready for the main event

Of the aquatic year.

Athletes from every ocean

Are expected to appear.


The line up is amazing!

Punters jostle round for space,

Or place their bets at Coral’s.

It is odds on for The Plaice.


The starter waves a flipper.

The contestants form a line.

Oh dear! Who jumped the gun?

It was the urchin, by a spine.


At last, they’re off. The shell fish

Start to mussel to the front.

It’s every mollusc for himself.

This race of push and shunt.


It’s really getting nasty.

Eels are shoving from the rear,

And I thought I saw a shark,

And several entrants disappear!


There are bubbles churning wildly,

As the water foams and flecks.

Fishing boats upon the surface

Clear the debris from their decks.


And no one seems to notice,

As the free-for-alls proceed,

That a couple of seahorses

Have sneaked up and took the lead.




In fact, the Ocean National

Has ground slowly to a halt.

Embroiled in all-out fighting

Of a very nasty sort.


The seahorses bob gently in

And cross the winning line

To share the glittering trophy,

Which they hoist above the brine.


And over several hours

Shame-faced fishes wander in.

Some wreathed in seaweed bandages;

One with a broken fin.


But, even though the National

Has ended way off course,

The punters go home happy.

Cos they backed the winning horse!



© Ruth Twyman Lockyer October 2011








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