for my brothers
Human interference, the latest in high-tech equipment,
played havoc with the natural navigational sense
of the whale. Less than two metres long,
later weighing more than seven tonne, the whale—
a Beleen, later a Hammerhead—was diverted
from her calling and trapped behind a man-made dam.
All that could be done was being done,
the new Dutch said: their well-meaning advances
designed to tame death, reclaiming more land—
years out there all alone—time and time again
from the sea. No sound made through the throat,
disconnected, reconnected, disconnected,
drip-fed water, malch, news of graduations,
new millennia, grown men, the whale and not death
became the shark in the mind of locals—a terror
assumed to exist but never, never, to be named.
It’s unmapped, this new dam built between the whale
and her God in a remote office. Sometimes
in Spring, people passing through the space
her absence makes, report the breach,
then tail slap, of a Blue-Nosed calf sat listening
outside the dam: the long silence broken only
by this incessant deet deet deet, little clicking.