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Aaron Gayan Jun 2017
Swift dive into ice
                                 Ocean
Just like a harpoon

Heart shutters draw
                                   Closed
Like her will to live
Three minute poem, no edits
Tommy Randell Nov 2016
Safe in the wet nest's rocking
I listen, with a passion. to a conversation about passions
Rising muffled from the party's tossing to and fro, below, below,

While a world away, upstairs on a huge expanse of white cotton,
With one gesture becoming an origami whale
Breaching silently the smoked-glass horizons of dresser-mirrors

She and I, remembering some tricks for odd half hours spent alone
Travel tides not knowing what needs destroy our hearts.
The Party's ceiling, our bed's floor, hardly creaking with our pressing.

But just as the Ocean's creases can become too fine    
So cruising her body my hands have no future    
Await the tragedy of the ******* to fly true and strike home -    

So, at the moment of our coming, killing the whale    
Only I know the enormous guessing it takes
Striking the blow personally in a spiral stupor.
Does the whaler harpooner dream of his girl or does the young man with his girl imagine harpooning the whale? Ah well, who knows ...
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.

— The End —