to a whale lost on a beach


Why have you come to this place?
There is no peace here,
there never can be.
The frightened air fills with steam
from within you,
you like an industrial relic
from a bygone shore.

My kind extracted your past lives
unkind for a good many nights
all the lights on our street,
our dining room and drawing room,
our forgetful bedrooms,
our lubricant
of easy civilisation.

But there is no peace here
in the raging western winds,
the whipped-up waves in fury
spitting at a hundred Gluttons
and crying with the cut-throat Skuas.

They have a right to your life,
I hope you agree.
I would like to ask you important questions.
Where did you come from?
Where are you going?
Have you just lost your way?
I long to ask your permission to cry
but to look now into your fading eye
means violation.

My kind took the stuff of you
and boiled it down
to grease our filthy hands.
And I would wash my face?

There is no peace here
between your final breaths.
You could’ve been a poet,
oh yes, I would’ve danced to your songs.
But you are not here now
to reveal the wonders from the depth
of your unexplored mind
for like all those of your kind
before you and yet few to come,
I cannot hope to know them.

Although I listen, yet I see
shapes in the waves like musical notes
and expectant, hungry birds
eyeing for bubbles
that secure and betray
a promise of good feasting.
But you are not there breathing.

There is no peace here,
no welcome return from the squall,
no lifeboat to summon,
no lighthouse to guide,
no comforting a drowning man.

And yes, I can dream of an island
that you dreamt into being
but we each shall never know
the hearts of both our homes.

We shall only know each other here
in this final emptiness,
this ever restlessness,
this place that is nowhere
and without peace.

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