The Immortal Jelly (Turritopsis dohrnii) ~ A Soliloquy
When I’m feeling under the weather, a tiny speck so vastly vaulted,
When I’m tired, stressed, and feeling emotionally assaulted,
When I can’t seem to swim off my sense of loneliness and deep frustration,
I remember that I am the only creature capable of transdifferentiation!
If you don’t know what I mean, then let me tell you through this opsis,
About the enduring jellyfish that men call Turritopsis.
I was born a tiny and symmetric egg in the Caribbean Sea,
A planula with cilia hairs, uniform, and swimming free.
Then I was sucked into the ballast water, into the jet set of the seas,
Now I travel the world all over, and I settle where I please.
From Japan to Senegal, from Guyana to Kuwait
I even have my lovers right here in the Cook Strait!
And I need relationships and heartache as much as I need bones,
I have as many children as a beach in France has stones,
And the funny thing about them is that all of them are clones!
Granted, this style of life may seem a lot to juggle, and can feel weighty,
For while an octopus has just eight arms, I count more than eighty!
But then no animal in the Kingdom, upon the land or in the brine,
Possesses cells as marvelous and remarkable as mine,
Capable of quickly changing states at any time!
And like I said before, when I am tired or just feeling down,
I simply sink and then invert my umbrella into a crown.
And lying on the sea floor, living forever for today,
I watch my garden of polyps, bud into ephyrae.
Some of my clones will perish, that much I will warrant,
For we plankton are forever committed to the current,
But of those myriad medusae that can revert to youth at any stage,
Rendering them obsolete to senescence or age,
Enough will go on living to sting humans while they snorkel,
Which makes me (technically speaking) biologically immortal!
And to be perfectly candid dears, your cognitive lives bore me,
And if there is one thing that the boundless Turritopsis dohrnii,
Simply cannot tolerate it is feeling thus depressed
So, I’m going to the ocean bottom to clone myself, and rest.