The Sunday Song Poem #3 Dick Kent ‘Octopus Woman Please Let Me Go’


Safety Reminder:

As with beaches everywhere, beware of possible hazards, including slippery rocks, crumbling cliffs, and sneaker waves (large waves that seemingly surge out of nowhere). Our clean clear waters are cold (52-54 degrees Fahrenheit) so wetsuits are essential for swimming, surfing, or diving. Keeping children (and dogs) out of the water during big surf days is just good commonsense.

“Be Swept Away by the Beauty Not By the Waves” – Mendocino Coast Water Safety Coalition

…or Octopus women? I’ve scoured the travel advice numerous times, and not once do they mention Green Octopus Hags. I suppose that’s not the kind of thing you put in the tourist guide, is it? There were numerous candidates jostling for the Sunday Song Poem today, but it would irresponsible of me to sit on this one any longer, the consequence of reticence potentially fatal.

You know that scene in Men In Black when K uses the Weekly World News and National Enquirer as an indispensable source of clandestine fact? Part of me believes the same thing to be true of Song Poems, and even if the majority of them are simply the lyrical and musical drool of lollygagging synapses, there’s an exception to every rule, and if I had my wish, this song would be that exception. Here’s how it played out in my mind…

A chopper provides our Point of View, a slow sweep semi-circling a secluded bay. Fingers unseen type-out pertinent, but privileged information in the bottom left or right of the screen. We hear the clickety-clack of typing (or a Daisy Wheel printing) for some reason, too. The unknown typist (probably Government, high security clearance, from the actual Fort Bragg) reveals this place to be ‘FORT BRAGG, CA. THE BEACH’. “The beach of the sea”. I imagine it to be ‘GLASS BEACH, FORT BRAGG’ and the time to be ‘SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 14:00 & 15:00 HRS’. In the experience of my childhood summers, time slows almost to a standstill around this point as our sky-bound fiery spot-God dawdles at his territory’s apex.


Photo credit:

Maybe he oft lingered on this beach a little too long, turning the sand to glass? Oh, that it were that simple. No, Glass Beach, so called because of it’s abundance of…glass, coloured glass, is no serendiptous mosaic. Glass Beach forever wears its testimony as shameful bitch-witness to man’s wasteful nature.

“From 1906 to 1967, everything from cars to batteries to bottles, cans and appliances were unceremoniously pushed over the cliffs into the ocean — a common practice of seaside cities for centuries. Mother Nature responded to this abuse with a nice surprise in the form of smooth, colored sea glass treasure in a rainbow of colors.”

The inimitable Dick Kent corroborates this Song Poet’s testimony of the hour of Glass Beach’s retribution, of how on this fateful day, Mother Nature rose from the murky depths, tentacles flailing, to give Man what-for, his transgressions against her paid-back eight-fold. “Many galore”.

Or perhaps we’re just, you know, bearing witness to the unsung progenitor of tentacle porn…


In the interest of public safety, I contacted the moderators of about cephalopodan activity on the Mendocino coast and received these replies…

Hi Chet,

Here’s one response I got from a Fort Bragg Promotion Committee member

Let me know if you find out anything … we could blog about it.
Bruce Lewis


I don’t know about the song, but I did see an 8-10 foot octopus at Caito Fisheries a few years ago. 

A couple of the guys had it hung up on a hook and were skinning it and cutting it up to take home. I’m looking for my photo of it to send to you. 

Yep – they’re out there!
Maybe Gene at Caito knows the story from the 70’s- or maybe Captain Fathom (Alan Graham of Albion).

Welcome to. Caito Fisheries. Wholesale Seafood Dealers. Fort Bragg – San Francisco – Crescent City – Half Moon Bay – Eureka.

Our historical society president came up with  this:

I think its referring to the item below. I believe it happened around Hare Creek Beach. She even went back east to tell her story on the radio
Nov 5 1937
Nov. 5: A Fort Bragg grandmother today recounted a thrilling story of her fight against a giant octopus and how she and two other women finally beat the monster to death before it could drag her beneath the waves of the Mendocino coast. Mrs. H. C. Graves was gathering abalones. She felt something brush against her leg and thinking it was a bit of seaweed, tried to kick free. She was unsuccessful. Glancing down, she was horrified to see a monster devil fish sweeping its tentacles toward her. One long arm reached up and grabbed her left wrist. Another came up and swept around her body. Struggling frantically, Mrs. Graves kept her right arm free. Screaming for help, fighting to keep from being dragged down, she clubbed the octopus with her heavy abalone iron. Her companions rushed to the beach to her aid and joined in beating the big devil fish until it was killed. The fish, when dragged ashore, measured 10 feet 5 inches from the tip of its longest tentacle to the opposite tip. There were seven of those mighty arms, and the octopus was one of the largest ever taken on the Mendocino coast. Nearby were two smaller devil fish that slithered off as the women battled the big one
San Francisco Chronicle



Chester Whelks

Chester Whelks

Chester Whelks is a peripheral figure on the fringes of existence. Predominantly bothering the local music scene of his native Manchester, England, he has a very finely attuned Justice-button, and knows how to call a spade a ‘Multi-Purpose Murder/Concealment Device’.

2 Responses to The Sunday Song Poem #3 Dick Kent ‘Octopus Woman Please Let Me Go’
  1. Shawn C. Baker Reply

    This is… wow. You are just taking us further and further down the rabbit hole and I for one LOVE it!

  2. [...] The Sunday Song Poem #3 Dick Kent ‘Octopus Woman Please Let Me Go’ The inimitable Dick Kent corrobo...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>