David Greenslade

Asteriscos Verde

The six-point green star asterisk sponge is an encrusting organism found on rocks and marine debris. It has the gift of bilocation not only spreading as it grows but genuinely appearing in two places at the same time, most notably in the pages of books. Because of the decline in large sunken hulks and of hard bound books it too has declined as a subspecies. All over the world asterisk sponges generally recover following periods of contemporary warfare and traditional scholarship. As such it is not regarded as endangered.

The Dandy Sponge

Observers are unsure whether the dandy sponge is autogenically luminous or whether its light is caused by microscopic worms, as such it is still classified as undescribed. Either way whatever generates this sponge's luminescence almost definitely relies on what are known as lucifer orthologs or excitable clusterwinks within the sponge tissue, whether attached or unattached. Divers who encounter the sponge later complain of headaches and visions — an uninvited clairvoyance, as their vivid intuitions rarely prove true.

Literal Finger Sponge

A manus dei appears from above, not from a cloud but reaching down from the surface of the sea. The hand animates an outstretched finger sponge. Other hands appear in response. One wonders if the hand will next engage in psychostasia – the weighing of a sea sponge against an elegant feather star. But, even though animal, it is not clear that sponges have souls. They do not have hearts. Even so, compassionate scientists never regard them as ‘heartless’.

The Matinée

The matinée, found in deep rocky coves along the coast of Oman, has the visual trick of darkening the waters around it. As well as affixing to rocks and coral it can also fasten to others of its own sub-classification. It is social. It prefers only the cleanest water and as such it is classified as endangered. Few other sponges have the ability to change the colour tone of its environment to this extent and as such the matinée is of enormous interest to marine biologists. Habitat intensifiers that cluster similar to the matinée are referred to as ‘flights’.

Shore Guest

Called shore guest but not at all welcome. The presence of shore guest is a precursor of trouble at sea. Sponges break off in their thousands — nobody is sure why — they drift ashore and wedge among the rocks. As the shore guest breaks down it contaminates the local littoral swith a malodorous and unsightly mucilage. Even pristine beaches in the Andaman Sea are affected. The photo shows a clean- up operation at Iztuzu Beach, Dalyan, Turkey.

Society Sponge

So called because it is found in the Society Islands of French Polynesia and not because it appears to be sociable. When in groups they sway in divergent and complementary dispositions. As all living beings will, they clamour for survival and endured over 150 nuclear test explosions between 1966 and 1995. The Society Sponge is historically convivial but following the punishment of nuclear radiation it showed signs of distress and favoured smaller units, notably pairs.

David Greenslade writes in Welsh and English and shares his time between Wales and Romania. Delayed by Covid he now has several books appearing close together:- Ubquitext (Steven the Great University Editions, Romania 2021); City of Opal Altars (Muşatini Press, Romania, 2021) and Full Pareidolia (CONTRABAND, 2021). He will have sponge-work in the next edition of Peculiar Mormyrid and can be seen reading maths poems at Mathematical Poetry at Bridges 2021.
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