february 25, 1997
[I wrote this in an attempt to add my small "shift" to assist the transformation of human consciousness that is our best hope for this planet. As the icebergs continue to melt, it needs to happen pretty fast.]
you begin your migration
along the rugged coast,
and I stand waiting in the chill late-winter dawn,
watching to see you passing by
on your ancient journey,
both of us caught in the spell of a force
far greater than man's,
connected in the mystery
and the beauty of the universal plan
that makes us sisters under the skin,
that makes us kin.
Mystical swimmer in the primal sea,
it has been your ocean since the world began.
You have made your way
century upon century
from birthing grounds to feeding grounds,
your babies by your side,
your steady progress purposeful and true
through the perilous course
your corridor has become
since it became a corridor
man shares with you.
I have looked down
to see you from the air,
your body outlined like a dozing giant in the kelp,
and I have caught my breath as,
with a huge exhalation,
you surfaced right beside my boat,
with your wise, loving eye seeing me clear,
looking like you wanted to offer
us bumbling humans help
to learn the ancient wisdom you could share,
if only you could find a way to speak,
and if only we could find a way to hear.
Now they say you're dying in massive numbers in the Gulf.
Up north, we're weeping as we read the news
that your corridor, a whale highway at this time of year,
is also now a passage for cocaine.
The news item says drug smugglers are dumping chemicals - NK-19 -
that they use to mark drug loads
from the air at night.
The shining boats must make a pretty sight,
but when dawn comes
there are your bodies lying on the shore
in numbers too great to ignore,
from swimming through the sea in total trust,
because you have no choice
and swim you must.
My mind, after the numbness and despair,
begins to form a bigger question: how
can small boats dumping buckets cause such hell?
Or is this just a smokescreen to hide the truth?
Is nuclear waste the story they wont tell?
My heart is aching,
for what it's worth.
Should we put up a sign in Baja:
Detour this earth?
Soon we'll hear that whales are glowing out at sea.
Will we sell tickets then to see the show?
Night time whale watching:
double the profit, double the fun.
I'd say I'm sorry and I'm not the only one.
I own the guilt of belonging to my species.
All I can do is write my pain into a poem.
I know your heart holds sorrow too,
everywhere you roam,
for I can hear it in your mournful song.
What are we doing to your home?
What are we doing to our planetary home?
swim fast, swim free.
Some of us know
that together we share
a common destiny.