“Cetacean” by Jack D. Harvey

A whale, his spiraling
tail whacks waves
to white spritz;
slowly he moves and feeds;
plangent down he weaves,
comes up like a gentle reef;
water breaks around
before behind
his glorious weight;
his eyes yard upon yard apart
across his bulk turn and look,
his enormous flippers folding,
opening, abaft his massive head.

Majestic mammal,
fish you will never be.
Like some overgrown living fuselage of flesh
you move your ponderous blood-warm body
through lonely seas;
tropics to the pole
the ghastly cold,
the fostering warmth
make no difference to you.

Your blood, our blood circles,
loops endlessly;
you’re with us in this; your heart
pumping heat and life
against the immortal unforgiving sea.

Waving slow and steady,
your great flukes send you below;
the waters part, down you drive,
shining, disappearing
in the safety of
the dark and bitter sea;
for you the better home,
the deep made bright
by your gentle presence.


Jack D. Harvey’s poetry has appeared in Scrivener, The Comstock Review, Bay Area Poets’ Coalition, The Antioch Review, The Piedmont Poetry Journal, and a number of other on-line and in-print poetry magazines. The author has been a Pushcart nominee and over the years has been published in a few anthologies. He has been writing poetry since he was sixteen and lives in a small town near Albany, N.Y. Harvey was born and worked in upstate New York. He is retired from doing whatever he was doing before he retired.

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