The Wake

orca with dead calf

The Wake

Talequah carries her dead baby gently –
either by the fin or on her nose,
refusing to let go of the calf who died
within a half hour of her birth.
The mother kept using her nose to push the baby to the surface –
She is hungry.
The bones of her skull can be seen through her depleted blubber.
Salmon farms are starving a race of beings out of existence,
Talequah carries her dead baby,
day after day.
Her pod is helping her carry her baby
mourning the loss of her baby with her.
They communicate with each other
in a complicated language only they can understand.
They mourn in their unique rituals,
forming circles around the mother –
Like a human wake.
Like mothers holding close the mother
whose baby has died,
crooning and holding the mother close.
We are starving this race,
We are depleting this race,
We are lessening their birth rate.
We are killing a race
more human than we are ourselves
who think only of courselves,
not caring who we kill
in our killing of this planet.
Talequah carries her baby gently.
The mother continues to mourn.

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Victoria C. Slotto
    Aug 06, 2018 @ 20:54:34



  2. Pat: willow88switches
    Aug 07, 2018 @ 19:25:50

    It seems ridiculous to hit the “like” button, but I did, because it’s a sign I was here. And have acknowledged your words. (of course, commenting kind of contradicts this?)

    Every time I see, hear, read, catch an update, watch video of this (as it happened on the West Coast) I literally put my head down and cried ~ a deep-seated grief and ripping current of pain, for these beautiful creatures, for the mother, for the pod, for the lost one –

    And my heartache cuts far more for these losses, on this mystical and magical blue-green planet, than it ever has, for any human being I have known. [including family and friends who have passed from this world] –

    This sacred space deserves far better than we could have ever given back.


  3. Pat: willow88switches
    Aug 07, 2018 @ 19:27:33

    Oh damn – I also meant to note: I like the form, the pattern, and the repetition you’ve used here, in this poem ~ it’s like a circling song, –
    a song of mourning, grief, loss
    as well as (it strikes me, at least) a prayer and petition
    and maybe, perhaps, of healing (in some way)


    • kanzensakura
      Aug 07, 2018 @ 22:13:41

      I was actually envisioning her pod circling her in the moonlight. I was hearing the slow sad beating of drums as the mother orca wept.

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