How they are comparable to
the biggest dinosaurs that once lived
on this turquoise globe; titanosaurs
and argentinosauruses, ranging
from tens to more than one hundred feet
in length. How they swim using
their tailing flukes and pectoral fins below
the surface of a jagged edge, only
making a grand entrance, twisting
their obese bodies and flashing their tails
feet-high in the air. How the blue whale,
the Sinatra of the ocean, whose
crooning songs, glide through air & salt,
marking an elaborate mating ritual;
how they roll and rocket up to air,
while spearing out gametes.
How the birth of a baby whale, is no fluke.
It is marked by a journey of thousands
of miles, to warmer equatorial waters,
and a return to the habitual hunting ground
of shoals of krill, flapped to the mouth
by the two prong fluke. How the story of
a blue whale mother giving birth
to her calf, captures our imagination
and attention; a tale of a birth canal
and the freedom of realizing,
that the sappy soap of child birth, has all the elements
of a Nicholas Sparks novel; twists, turns,
mush and a sentimentality that
makes grown women cry, seeing
a baby whale being born.
How a mother whale shelters
her calf, as she lets him be carried
on beneath her blubber belly, sometimes,
pushed to the front of by her snout,
knowing that the difference between
soppy and sloppy, is survival.
How they roam the seas together, singing
the songs that make sailors at sea,
think of their wives at home, tormented by
sightings of fluking, distracted in
mind, to entertain mermaids.
A juvenile whale calf, who by instinct,
leaps high, spins and turns the torso,
lifting his fluke, only to dive below,
like a spinning ballerina, after an airy jump,
which amasses the whale faithful, to
watch from the nearby hull of a lookout boat.
How the first breath is always special,
to a bantam weight milksop,
still sopping on his mother’s milk,
knowing that his calcified milky-white spears,
were lost to evolution, well before
the ontogeny of baleen; sheets of armor,
draped down from the upper jaw,
made of long tapering tassels,
frills harvesting krill.
How a blue beast is more of a beauty,
like a doming turquoise mosque high above
the Istanbul skyline, as we, the ones,
inspired or mad enough to chase whales,
are gifted with a truth, that befalls us,
like an earth-bound flared asteroid,
kindling something deep from within us.
The math of calculating the sheer numbers
of miniature shrimp that must perish
to build a monument of flesh,
padded with body fat. How the fasting diets,
deplete whale blubber, one chain at a time,
as they migrate from frigid polar waters,
to latitudes of the equator,
to beautify a blue heifer,
into a cow.
- 108: DEDICATIONwith L Patterson & L Garcia-Dolnik 107: LIMINALwith B Li 106: OPENwith C SLowe & J Langdon 105: NO THEME 11with E Grills & E Stewart 104: KINwith E Shiosaki 103: AMBLEwith E Gomez and S Gory 102: GAMEwith R Green and J Maxwell 101: NO THEME 10with J Kinsella and J Leanne 100: BROWNFACE with W S Dunn 99: SINGAPOREwith J Ip and A Pang 97 & 98: PROPAGANDAwith M Breeze and S Groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRICAN DIASPORAwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones