"And the winner is . . ."
Fixed his gaze upon twin boxes.
Around, agog, stood homo sapiens
In many different shapes and sizes.
Bright hues and bands horizont-ic-al
Please octopodes and such beings nautical.
Taking his time he pondered the flags
That marked each box, before he chose
- Ah, which is the team? - and swallowed his morsel.
The winner again! He knows, he KNOWS,
This oracle in the aquarium.
But does he really? Or was it just silly
Of homo sapiens, whose superstition
Fulfils the very prophecy
Brought forth by foolish question?
The Octopus with sapient eye
Looks on with gaze that seems sardonic,
As homo sapiens, his keeper mighty,
Through folly falls into a panic.
©2010 by Ruth Heredia
Panic is the unreasoning fear associated with Pan, a sardonic deity who appears to favour beasts over men (justifiably, perhaps), and who, together with Dionysos, represents the power of emotion, instinct and unreason, as opposed to Apollo, who represents the power of thought, harmony (produced by balance and discipline) and reason.
Meanwhile, AFP has a photograph that summarises one person's view of the recent World Cup hoopla: