Later I asked, ‘Is it you who makes the decision?’ I knew he could get a legal gun instead, and use it. I found a note I’d written one ill night. How my flesh is split by it still! I took a while to read Fathoms: The World in the Whale, the debut of Australian writer Rebecca Giggs. Whale Fall by David Baker. Photograph © Bryant Austin, A Mother Listens, 2006. In collaboration, characters from the poem are expanded into alternative beings exploring the roots of what they evoke in the artists. When I woke I couldn’t speak or make sense. A rubber tube ran to a pump container. Poem. The whale as landfill. It was … The surfers took a knee in prayer or shame, their wetsuits half peeled to expose tattoos of constellations and regional creeds. I unrolled a sleeping bag On mats on the porch Under thick autumn stars. I woke to the sounds of surfers arriving in the dark. A few years ago I helped push a beached humpback whale back out into the sea, only to witness it return and expire under its own weight on the sand. An Autumn Morning in Shokoku-ji Last night watching the Pleiades, Breath smoking in the moonlight, Bitter memory like vomit Choked my throat. The Whale Rider, Witi Ihimaera 8 The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan 8 Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe 9. ‘Even if the children don’t understand, they know. I also use information and language from Wikipedia. “70% of marine debris sinks to the bottom of the ocean.”, a sea captain, surveying plastic washed up on a remote, polluted, stretch of sand on Hawaii’s Big Island. A germane sound, inlaid with information, or just noise, background babble as the wind speaks in the trees, as dogs bark, being dragged off by their owners on leashes. There were dogs on the beach held back by their owners, sweeping flat quarter-circles in the sand with their tails. The much-adored Antarctic Blue whale skeleton in the Western Australian Museum in Perth was set to be lifted out of the roof on a crane and dismantled. But what if we were now taking the wildness out of the whale? I am 14 years old and, I am very passionate about all animals, especially whales. People brought their children down to see it. Climate change (i.e. The whale body reaches a point where the buoyancy of its meat and organs is only tethered down by the force of its falling bones. I put one hand briefly on the skin of the whale and felt its distant heartbeat, an electrical throbbing like a refrigerator. A whale fall is a phrase used to describe a cetacean's carcass that has settled in the abyssal or bathyal zone, that is, deeper than 3,300 feet in the ocean floor. Weeks I couldn’t sleep. What felt important in that moment was the act of seeing this through to the end, of agreeing not to leave the whale alone. and the song of a whale adrift for her voice. She had spiritual skills. Collins is an American poet, appointed as Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003. Stomach contents: 43 feet of fishing net, 100 plastic bags, golf balls, sweatpants, greenhouse glass sheeting, cigarette. A cordon was set up. top—gray-green blur—dip to my feeder bulb, the burr of wings; and already it’s back—, dips again, hovers there; sips now; attacks, caught in 200 feet of fishnet, crab lines, channel buoys off the, coast of Orange County: lines cut through its mouth, wrapped, its fins. Sirens. People were still eating from lunch boxes, taking phone calls and posing for photographs in front of the whale. ‘First prize went to the dog school principal, who of course had submitted a cartoon dog.’ Three stories by Hiromi Kawakami, translated by Ted Goossen. The officer let me hold it for a minute, this ghastly prop, heavier than it looked. Whale Fall. tissue, floating in the darkness, to settle there. The lengthy poem Whale Fall is grounded in scientific fact as well as beautiful images and arresting metaphors that persuade the reader to “love it all.” The poems in the Black Sage section are equally rich in their reworking of myth. ‘There’s an argument, a conservation argument, not to put a whale that’s been weeded out back in again.’. People stayed back from the water nonetheless. pump can remain out of contact ... for more than a thousand years. Once the body comes to rest, biologists refer to this as a whale fall.As you would guess, other fish and sea animals initially eat the meat off the carcass. (Cadmium, a compound found in paint and industrial manufacturing, and a by-product of burning fossil fuels, causes metal fume fever, fluid in the lungs, kidney disease and cancer in humans.) Sperm. What the whale inspired was wonderment, a dilation of the ordinary. He is a Distinguished Professor at Lehman College of the City University of New York. Where do you fly from harm? In the morning a part of the whale that ought not to be outside of it was outside of it. Weeks, months. ): multiple exclusion ... Heart sac. The poem in blank verse begins with a meditation on whales and their environment, unfolding the brutal exploitation of both by humans, which is gut-wrenchingly tragic. But what we see is infinitely less than what we don’t see. These women may occupy some of the most isolated and deindustrialized regions in the world, but sustaining themselves on whales had made their bodies into sites of concentrated contamination. The whale was black like piano wood and because it was still young, it was pink in the joints under its fins. The whale’s descent was different. The needle was at least a foot long and as thick as a car aerial. Efforts made to free it from a sandbar in the morning had been aided by the tide. plastics bags, nine meters of rope, two long pieces of garden hose. The sharks slid into vapour, a squinting rumour. When do you hide? 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