Autofill Luna(r)cy

Moonlight Jellies


Copyright © 2023 Kate McFarlane. All rights reserved. Used with permission. See more of Kate McFarlane's fabulous art on Instagram at @katejmcfarlane.


When Is the Dance of the Moonlight Jellies?

And may I attend without an invitation?
I’ve always wanted to see them dancing
And yet my schedule has not allowed it
I can bring chips, some Coca-Cola
For breaks in the dancing as I imagine
They will need some kind of refreshment
Should they prefer Dr Pepper, let me know
The Bev Barn lacks nothing at all
Once I saw them drifting, but it was sunny
So I hope that the moonlight will soon send
The message that, yes, we will dance now
And of course you can join in.

—Susan Thomsen


The line "when is the dance of the moonlight jellies?" came from the autofill suggestions of a search engine when I was looking for phrases related to the moon. This one refers to an event in the Stardew Valley video game, and I thought it was irresistible. My poem has nothing to do with the game; it's just a riff on that question.

The moon-themed Poetry Friday roundup for June 30th is at author Irene Latham's blog, Live Your Poem.


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I am going to have to share this with my daughter, who is a Stardew Valley fan. What a fun way to come up with a title--and a fun poem!

I love that you used a phrase found in a search engine auto fill. :) I love that everyone is welcome. And YES to Dr. Pepper, though I haven't had it since I was a teen. Must remedy. Thank you!

Autofill inspiration - love it! Your poem is a wonderful dance party 'jelly-bration', Susan. :)

Buffy, the game did sound like fun when I looked it up! I thought I'd totally go to the dance of the moonlight jellies.

Irene, ha! I just had a Dr Pepper recently for the first time in years and thus its appearance in the poem.

Jelly-bration! Yes, Bridget. Thank you for that. Autofill for the win this week.

Oh, my goodness - I'm SO wary of AI, especially in the realm of writing, etc., but your seizing upon that irresistible question turned into all of this wonderful, fun imagery! Thanks for sharing, Susan. That lively illustration is perfect for your poem, too. :0)

Robyn, me, too! Just this week I was reading an article online that did not make total sense to me, and seemed wrong in some of its assumptions, and I realized it must have been written by AI. So weird. But, yeah, I hope I put it to good use by snatching the poem's title. :) I just love Kate McFarlane's art, which I bumped into on Instagram.

I, too, love that autofill, Susan, and the moon jelly invite! Dancing with moon jellies is an image I will remember!

Thank you so much, Linda. A jellyfish dance is such a fun idea, right? The title question really hit me when I read it; its cadence seemed perfect for a poem.

I'll dance with the moonlight jellies any day (or night, as the case may be)! Especially if they have such cute smiling faces!!

I wonder if auto fill poems only happen so delightfully when you least expect them (or when you're looking for something else)? I'll have to experiment...

(I love that you are also reading SOIL! Have your balloon plants bloomed yet?)

Mary Lee, I think so, in regard to the auto poems. The element of surprise does seem important.

The balloon flowers look about a week away from blooming, though deer trimmed one of them.

That's an irresistible phrase! I love this welcoming, surreal poem, Susan!

Why, thank you, Laura! I saw that question, and the poem practically wrote itself, as if I were accessing my own autofill. So odd but fun when it happens like that.

I definitely have the experience that the best, truest poems come when I turn on self-auto-fill--starting somewhere and intending little, word by word and phrase by phrase letting it come. I like how this one begins a little Lewis Carroll and then immediately takes a turn into the 7-11 food aisle. PS I buy diet Dr. Pepper by the case all summer!

So you, too, know the siren call of Dr Pepper, Heidi. I’m also a Fresca fan but was never a Tab person.

In terms of the writing, I just kept saying yes to whatever wanted to be in the poem. Yay for self-auto-fill!

I absolutely love that you got the line from autofill. It's very intriguing as a line!

When I first saw the line, I thought maybe “moonlight jellies” was supposed to be “moon jellies,” which I was familiar with. But no! Thanks for stopping by, Marcie.

I love how begin with 2 questions, Susan!

A shy start, for sure! I had fun with this one.

What a fun poem! Moonlight Jellies is such a cool name and Kate’s illustration is a party-like match. Gathering at The Bev Barn sounds like the place to be!

And I hate to tell the this poem's speaker, but those chips might get soggy... :) Thanks for stopping by, Karen!

LOVE your riff on the question. Magical. And love Kate McFarlane's art! ❤️

Isn’t her art great! I like it so much. Thank you for the kind words about the poem, Karen. If y’all don’t see me next week, I’m off dancing with the moonlight jellies.

Such a great title/opening line, Susan, and how fun to listen in on this conversation. I'm still delighting over moonlight jellies!

Oh what a delightful poem and image too Susan, such an enchanting scene they paint together, thanks for all the smiles, 💙 !

Thank you both for stopping by, Patricia and Michelle. This one went in a kooky direction and I just followed it!

What a fun blog title, Susan. You took a chance and off you went. I will join in the dance tonight.

I'm so glad, Carol! Chips and Cokes are on the house.

Those moonlight jellies are irresistible! I love hearing how you created this poem!

Thanks, Molly! I just loved Kate McFarlane's illustration, which I bumped into shortly after finishing the poem.

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