when the lost pod sings (to sea again)

Only a cock stood on the rooftree
Co co rico co co rico

~

the mariners –
old whale-men all –
gather

perched
on makeshift stools

squatting
or simply
on the ground
with their backs
against
a wall

these men
have known hardship
at the whim
of oceans
and are not above
a seat
upon the steady earth

their hands
are a devilish rainbow
of lined weather
black pitch
and the golden-brown
from the foul-bac
smoked
or chewed

spat

there is little
for these men
now the whales
have gone

it is long
since a sighting
and their work
is reduced . . .

tying knots

mending nets
and tackle
for the sake of it

without real hope
of need

tale telling liars
these seamen
but
if not a yarn
that brings to mind
the high seas . . .

what
is there

and the story
has been told –
no one knows
who told it first –
about a mighty pod
of whales

the lost pod
they are calling them

whether
they are all
together
all the time
or
come together
in response
to some calling
of their wild
it is not said

but –
somehow –
it is known
that they come together . . .

they will
come together

to sing

some say
it is to mark
a birth

the birthing
of a special calf

some say
it is more
a spiritual thing
and all of the men
nod

they know
the world of the whale
is a spiritual thing

others say
that it is
a lie

that no man
has seen
such a thing

a story . . .

only
a story

but these last
are shouted down

for what
does it matter
if it is
just
a story

stories
can be true

truer
than true

and they argue
on
and on
but . . .

in their secret
hearts

these black-handed men
of the sea
believe

and they wait
each
with a hidden hope

that the lost pod
will sing

that there will be
a special calf
or
a special song

that the whales
will reappear

and their emptiness
of their
poor
land-locked lives
will fall behind

as their search
begins
again

~

9 thoughts on “when the lost pod sings (to sea again)

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