Captain Watson’s The Whale

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The Whale

Upon the billowing shroud of the sea, under a greyish cloud,
Thunderclouds taking shape, twenty leagues off Mendocino Cape,
The crescent moon had rose, and amongst the twinkling stars it froze.
And suddenly there came a whoosh, as the sea exploded with a breach,
A whale, a sperm, a cachalot, from the sea did rise, did blow and breach.
So close, so close, so very close,
Scarce within my reach.

It was a pleasant night in June, under a rather melancholy moon.
Caught in its teeth, six meters of giant squid, captured from beneath.
Leviathan and prey crashed back into the brine in a frothy spray.
I watched with enraptured awe, my crew and I, not a word could we say,
As this whale, this sperm, this cachalot, dove into the depths, dark and grey.
With a splashing bow he was gone,
Concluding the grim ballet.

The sun’s morning glow gave cry to the sky with a loud, “There she does blow.”
The whales, the sperms, the cachalots, all around us, they did swim and breach.
Through the greyish gloom we saw the approach of the grisly Goliaths of doom.
Nearer they came, these steel sheathed slayers of sweet sentient grace,
We children of Ahab watched them approach with fear upon our face.
Oh, how I despised them,
These loathsome slayers of grace.

We heard the thunderous shot; we saw the blood, as the dying whale fought,
In the dark blue sea she thrashed in pain as bullets through her body lashed.
Her hot breath shot forth in a pinkish mist from this dying cachalot.
She arched her back in a twist and rolled in horrific pain,
To slaughter this wondrous armless Buddha was senselessly insane.
And I could not help but wonder,
How many others had they slain?

Like a sad quixotic knight we raced our Zodiacs with another pod in sight,
My small boat through the waves did rip as we chased that evil ship.
The harpoon we blocked, as before that high foreboding bow we rocked.
Before us the whales, the sperms, the cachalot numbered a pod of eight,
Two young calves, five females with a large bull as their protective mate.
A family waylaid by chance.
Could we avert their grisly fate?

In mortal fear, raced the whales, we followed with the monster on our rear.
That steely prow did glide over the tide, cleaving the sea like an axe.
The harpooner was grim, he aimed at my heart as I looked back at him.
He could not kill a whale, a cachalot, withour bodies in the way.
The Russian captain ran forward and to the harpooner had his say:
His finger sliced across this throat,
As he screamed for us to stay away.

Like a delicate shell my little boat rose upon a surging swell,
I was so near I could smell the fear in their vaporous breath.
I could see a spout misting the air, I heard the whalers shout.
I went surfing down into a trough when I heard that horrific sound
The deadly missile whistled near overhead and I quickly turned around.
And what I saw horrified me
As my heart began to pound.

Like a woman tortured by a heartless fiend,I heard her painful scream,
She rolled on the flood as a fountain of blood spurted from her side.
“My God,” I cried, watching helplessly, as in convulsions she died.
Her hot blood spread like a malignant stain on the surface of the sea,
The largest whale turned to the right, six others turned left to flee.
His tail rose and came down hard,
As his saddened fluke slapped the angry sea.

Beneath me the Leviathan swam towards the whaler with the intent to ram,
The big gun was steady and they were ready, reloaded with a merciless dart.
I saw his eye breach the surface, I saw the gun and knew that he would die,
This whale, this sperm, this cachalot, face to face with a monster on the sea.
In shock I sat in my tiny boat as witness to cold-blooded murder on the sea.
In a fight most unfair he would die,
Slaughtered on that sullen sea.

At point-blank range the gun did spit, a roar shook the air, as his body sank,
Slowly into the scarlet waters, he bellowed, crazed with rage.
My tears did flow as the whalers smirked, and shock vanquished all my fears.
This whale, this sperm, this cachalot, this savaged lord of the deep abyss,
Slain by ignorant black hearted nameless men, spineless and merciless –
Devoid of empathy, these killers on the sea,
Unmoved by the whales’ distress.

In horror I sat, until suddenly I caught the whale’s penetrating eye,
I looked at him and he looked at me and then he dove beneath the sea.
Aghast, I saw a trail of bloody bubbles coming towards me fast.
The whale, the sperm, this cachalot, rose from the sea and towered by our side,
My first thought was that this great titan would slay me before he died,
His teeth so close, his breath upon my face,
Steaming, streaming blood, cascading down his side.

Leviathan, his strength is great, and thus he has no need to hate.
I saw in his eye that he understood, that we were there for his good,
Reflected in that great whale’s eye, I s awmyself, a-scrying for a reason why.
Slowly he sank into the dark depths, I watched him sink beneath the shroud,
Rain like tears upon me fell, beneath a towering thundercloud.
All was quiet on the sea,
As blood oozed up from that darkened shroud.

Amidst the violence and the strife, he had chosen to spare my life.
With relief and great emotion I sat in that boat upon that heaving ocean.
That eye, that eye, so beautiful and so real, oh my God it haunts me still;
Before he sank and departed, a message to me was imparted.
Repay this debt for your life, your course has now been newly charted.
You live to serve a greater good,
You must finish what you started.

That large orb, that sacred eye, like a sponge, my soul it did absorb.
The whale, the sperm, the cachalot, had struck my heart with one desire,
In its depths, I saw the past, felt the present, saw the future in that living glass.
On that spot I quit the maddening insanity of ruthless humanity.
I swore in a frustrated fit of angry profanity,
To forsake myself from
Mankind’s festering inhumanity.

The dark and deep enchanted depths, does its silent secrets keep.
Benthic vows unrecanted, weigh heavily on the heart and mind,
The whale’s hot blood still burns my soul and through desire drives my will
The whales, the sperms, the cachalots guide my hand on sea and land,
For in their service I am committed, and in their service I do stand.
As the seas I have charted
Keep me sailing o’er the darkening sand.

-pw

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