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Cori MacNaughton Oct 2015
She had been at sea for three decades
her first voyage at age eighteen
a week after her marriage
in the year of our Lord 1883

She married a sailing man
captain of his own ship
handsome, bearded and tall
a fine commander of his men
as they searched the sea for whales

She loved life at sea
and could imagine no other
the motion of the ship
the sounds of the rigging and the sails
the quiet companionship
with her husband every evening

She was beloved by her husband’s men
whom she mothered well
having had no sons of her own
but nurtured and healed
patched and sewed
bloodied and broken hearts and men

Often she came out on deck
for she knew when they would find them
and though she was in the stern
and the lookout was high in the crow's nest
she saw many whales they missed

She thrilled each time she saw them
awed by their sheer size
marveling at their strength
humbled by their beauty
careful to hide her feelings

Sometimes she could feel
when a whale would blow
and she would call to the first mate
so the men looked at her
as the whale passed unseen

Most times she silently prayed
willing the lookout to search
the wrong spot of ocean
and felt again the pang
of disloyalty to her husband
for he commanded a whaling ship

But then the lookout's call came
"Thar she blows!"
and the men sprang to action
taking after the whale in longboats
while she escaped below

She had seen before the killing
she would not watch again
too many whales succumbed
to exploding harpoons
and a death horrifyingly cruel

And she wondered
what would happen
if only whales could scream . . .
Originally written on 4 Feb 2006 at 11:57 PM.

This poem is very close to my heart, as I have been strongly morally opposed to whaling since childhood, and it was inspired by the following wrenching quote:

The methods have hardly evolved since Dr. Harry D. Lillie worked as a ship's doctor on a whaling expedition in the Antarctic in 1946:

"If we can imagine a horse having two or three explosive spears stuck into its stomach and being made to pull a butcher's truck through the streets of London while it pours blood in the gutter, we shall have an idea of the present method of killing. The gunners themselves admit that if whales could scream the industry would stop, for nobody would be able to stand it."

I recently read the wonderful book "Fluke, or I know Why the Winged Whale Sings" by Christopher Moore, in which , though it is a work of (mostly) humorous fiction, he recounts a factual occurrence of a mother whale attempting to protect her calf from the Japanese whaling ship pursuing them.  In Japan, whales are considered to be nothing more than fish, with therefore no moral reason not to hunt them to extinction, but her actions showed the whalers onboard the ship that she truly displayed a mammalian motherly love, and moved many of them to tears.  

There is still room for hope, but we have to act NOW, and drag our government officials into the 21st century kicking and screaming if need be.
pushthepulldoor  Mar 2015
ptsd
pushthepulldoor Mar 2015
I remember hiding under an old cherry wood dining table. I remember holding my baby sister, shielding her eyes, covering her and trying to tuck her away. Pulling her as close to me as possible, like I might be able to fold her skin into mine so she wouldn’t have to see what was happening around us. I can still hear her crying into my bony 7 year old shoulder and whaling amongst the chaos with the bitty 4 year old voice that she had at the time. I remember the heart stopping feeling of watching my mother get thrown into the wall and watching my brother, 11 years older than myself, hurtle the beautiful antique silver coffee *** that my grandmother left us- into the space near her head where it bludgeoned the wall. I remember barely being taller than the table myself and pulling my sister out when I saw a chance for us to escape the scene and run into another room.  I remember turning around and seeing my older sister, who was 10 at that time, running up and hitting and kicking my brother and getting shoved to the side. I’ve grown accustomed to the headaches I now get at the sight of flashing police lights.
memories are the last scars to fade.
Tom Higgins May 2014
All aboard this ship of fools,
all aboard she's sailing,
all aboard this ship of fools,
for we are going a' whaling.

From the harbour our course we keep,
for the distant Antarctic water,
to find the leviathans of the deep,
and begin our ****** slaughter.

All aboard this ship of fools,
all aboard she's sailing,
all aboard this ship of fools,
for we are going a' whaling.

We say there is a scientific need,
to study these magnificent beings
we harpoon them, and watch them bleed,
as before our ship they're fleeing.

All aboard this ship of fools,
all aboard she's sailing,
all aboard this ship of fools,
for we are going a' whaling.

And still our leaders, they entreat
that we do this for the good of science,
but really it is for their meat,
that we **** these gentle giants

All aboard this ship of fools,
all aboard she's sailing,
all aboard this ship of fools,
for we are going a' whaling.

Tom Higgins.
Jamison Bell Oct 2016
It was on a night like this, not long ago.
The air stood still and the moon hung low.

A loathsome lad on the bow of a whaler.
Not much of a farmer but a pretty good sailor.

Made a wish on the breast of Blue he killed.
"Your mightiest dead, his blood I've spilled!"

Most gods didn't listen save one who did care.
Poseidon held steadfast, his attention was snared.

"Poseidon pay forth my wish which I've earned!
My fortunes everlasting and enemies burned!"

Poseidon appeared though not as you think him.
He appeared as fresh water so the sailor would drink him.

"My favor you seek?" The lads stomach it snarled.
"You killed one of my daughters your heart I will gnarl!"

"Oh dear god who hath forsaken my favor.
Spare me your wrath, my heart don't savor."

The young sailor pleaded his tables now turned.
The house of his dreams Poseidon has burned.

"Quiet you fool your tears do not pang me.
One day I favor you will marry a banshee.

She'll be quite striking, clever, and loyal.
For her hand and her heart you mustn't recoil.

You'll live quite well your fortunes more fair.
You'll suffer no fools, you will not despair.

One night though I'll come back to collect.
I spared your life tis quite a large debt."

Our whaling friend abided then his muscles began to quake.
Poseidon made him ***** so an exit he could make.

They parted ways and many years of travels came to be.
Our whaling lad he had searched those perilous seven seas.

Soon he met and fell in love with a girl from the forests edge.
He proposed to her in sight of Poseidon on high upon a ledge.

A few years passed and soon she bore this man a son.
He couldn't believe his very eyes what favors had he won.

Then one night Poseidon came and rapped his trident on the door.
"A debt must be paid with your own son. I mustn't wait anymore!"

The lad he knew better than to argue with Poseidon.
He took his son from his wife's arms knowing better to abide him.

Poseidon took his son and cast him to the stars.
A reminder far more lasting than any mortal scars.

The young mans wife done cast herself into the firey hearth.
Having done cursed her love and self, for ever giving birth.

The sailor said "What penance, if any, was there ever to be made?"
Poseidon turned away from him for the debt the man had paid.

"Does your pain right now not make you favor death?
Do you not savor in the thought of smelling Cerebrus' breath?

Can you fashion upon your eyes a single saving grace?
How about your soul for one more look upon her face?"

The whaling man said nothing putting pistol to his temple.
The plan it seems all along had been well, rather simple.

A discharged flash and his eyes opened wide.
Prone in his bed his lovely wife there by his side.

His son began to bellow from the crib by the hearth.
Everything was as it was, his love and the birth.

A new moon shone out upon the quiet sea.
Poseidon beckoned the old man to venture out to he.

"Poseidon I don't know what I could do to honor you my god.
Your feats are grand and generous your efforts I applaud."

"Save face my friend for you have learned your lesson well.
And that's to say this **** right here is by Jamison ****** Bell!"
Cori MacNaughton Jun 2015
I feel great pain as the harpoon finds
the whale once more, I hear the boom
as explosion thunders, rips apart
the body, sinew and beating heart
as blood and tissue spread and drift

And shark, the lesser predator
nears and circles the carnage 'till
the struggle ends, the whale stills.
The sea once more is filled with loss
that might, had we more courage, been avoided

Cori MacNaughton
26August2003
My college major was marine biology, and whales and shark remain among the great loves of my life.  I have been opposed to whaling since childhood and was greatly saddened when Iceland resumed whaling once more.

I have read this poem in public, but this is the first time it appears in print.
Simon Soane  Jun 2013
Castle
Simon Soane Jun 2013
Aware of tides
a castle fortifies
with memories of compacted glory,
splendid defiance
lost
to brine horizon,
a hailed day
turned whaling ship grey.
Spencer Craig  Nov 2014
Betrayal
Spencer Craig Nov 2014
we must have different definitions of faith,

cause your demonstration has left me a wraith

wanting woes whaling in your

soul. so why must i incurr

these laments- no you don't understand!

this whole time you had my heart in your hand.

for which you were to protect and provide,

but like a toy boomerang you threw me aside.

untill u finish with your ken doll and want me to return,

but not this time! now it is my turn!

but i aint playing, i am throwing out the trash.

and don't you dare expect me to come back!

them over me? what were you bored?

of all the years i chored? you know? Now i abhor

the memories of taking you places, all the kind fallacies

that i had to say cause you can't deal with reality.

you have no decency. you've cause me so much pain.

our relationship is a bike but you leave it in the rain.

then you try to ride it, with the gears full of rust

i guess trust is a word imma have to spell without "us".
repost if someone violated your trt
Krysel Anson Sep 2018
Hello, Poetry Incorporated,
how are you now, coming after
the world's 3rd breakdown?
Where do we go from here?

Here beside us now, another gift
after the deathly blows.After children entrusts
us yet again pieces of their lives and deaths to us.

A Japanese animation in the 1970s was banned
somewhere offshore. Not just because
the landowners who banned it was just evil,
Nor because one was "better than the other".

It was forbidden maybe because of many questions 
still haunting us to and fro, beckoning us into
living our lives fully, not because of the light and dark,
but rather despite of it.
Like the dark and beautifully frightening
ocean tides that have capsized whaling ships
and yet have given birth to all our species.

Unlike many other animations,
the banned show did not have crudely offensive content.
It was a story of different people coming together
inside a big machine and operating it as one
as they manifest themselves as the Voltes Five.
Work in progress. Written after watching online interviews with Elon Musk.
Britni Ann  Feb 2018
Fairies
Britni Ann Feb 2018
What is it like living with an eating disorder?
It’s living every day in fear of the food around you.
You have to eat, it's a biological need.
It's around the dinner table where people get to know each other,
It's how people care for others, bringing meals, making favorites.  
And when you don't eat people get suspicious and ask questions.  
It’s is living with a life revolved around weight loss pills, laxatives, and trying to puke as quietly as you can because you couldn't think of a good enough excuse to say no.
You puke to punish your body for it's biological need for food.
You binge on Cheetos or cookie dough, let it satisfy your hunger for an hour or so and then you puke it up because you shouldn’t have even looked at the food.
Life with an eating disorder is weight scales and the clothes you used to fit and the ways you hide your dramatic weight loss.
It’s telling your body to shut up, forcing your stomach to stop whaling because it wants food and, throwing them off a cliff into the ocean.
It’s putting on a smile after you came out of the bathroom puking your guts out pretending you had to take a shower or you had a really big ****.
its the voices in your head telling you, "you are ugly" "you are fat"
It's not being able to tell those voices to shut up and they consume you.
It’s making excuses and trying to decide how long you can get away with the same one like “oh I ate at home.” “oh I ate earlier.” “oh we’re actually getting something to eat no thanks.” It’s seeing how much water you can drink to get rid of your hunger just to give you some peace of mind.
That’s an eating disorder.
That’s me.
The poem is called Fairies to take attention away from the poem. What so many girls tend to do. At least thats what I do...

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