so many seas (such vast deaths)

White bodies naked on the low damp ground

~

white
on white

the colour
null

a pallid whale rests
stranded
on the bed
of a blonde
desert

all the while
circled
by a motorized dinghy
captained a bearded mariner
wearing a –
predominantly blue –
cap of command
and sharply trimmed –
predominantly black –
beard

as he ploughs
through the sand
the mariner is shouting –
encouragements
and endearments –
to the whale

come moby
swim

dive
below the surface
and
sound your song

dive
you beautiful
pale fool

dive

if you languish
you will surely
die
and that
is not acceptable to me

swim
damn you

become
of-the-sand

your appointed task
is to be hunted
by
me

I demand
you swim

the whale blinks

rotates
an enormous
blue
cetaceous eye
to follow the motion
and wake
of the little boat –
of his old nemesis –
performing agitated arcs
and circles
through the sand

urging

always urging

but
the whale
is tired

weary of the coarse-grains
of irritation
fouling his spiracle
until he cannot
breathe

the crusting
of ever-weeping
lachrymals

and this air
filled with powdered dust
and the sound
of that wretched man
beseeching

as though
it is not
enough
to have been marooned
so unexpectedly

or be overtaken
by this
un-fathomable
new water

a fluke twitches
responding
to his distress
with
just the suggestion
of a tail
loaded with sand
and flung . . .

the swamping
of a small boat . . .

just to show
the old salt
that a pale whale
is not –
ever

helpless

only . . .

biding

in the end
though
the whale does
nothing

he waits
a long cetacean
moment

and
a propitious time

to dive –
overturn
the dinghy
and
the blusterous mariner
both

exploit the confusion
and sudden intensity
of disturbance

until then . . .

he sends a
ripple
down the length
of his drying flank
to disturb the ticks
and the fleas
and the sand flies . . .

the wretched seagulls
here
so far
from salted water

he listens
to the sounds
of the sailor
and his motorized boat

and dies

a single
white granule
at a time

~

5 thoughts on “so many seas (such vast deaths)

  1. A good piece of advice for most of us when we feel that we are sinking. It motivates, but I confess to being disappointed that it ended abruptly and sadly You owe me a packet of tissues

    Like

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