One Story Leads to Another . . .

A Fish out of Water

The subaquatic low and unrelenting moan of whales surprised me

Here on the 4th floor of my office building.

I turned from my computer to the window, half-expecting to see

A grey blimp of a huge underbelly drift by,

Barely skimming over the roofs across the way and headed over ours.

No one else turned from their screens,

signalling that they were not so easily distracted,

Or were simply so used to what I had never noticed that it no longer fazed them

That the sky outside in this landlocked capital city

Was filled with the largest mammals known to man, outside their normal

habitat, doing the most unusual thing of flying, and sounding utterly distressed.

The heart of a blue whale weighs as much as an automobile,

they can hold a lot of longing for home,

They can ache for the wanting of elsewhere.

There was more than a heavy heart, their cries echoed, they spoke to one another.

And yet, when I looked out, I only saw a sea of endless rectangles of reflections

And not even the people sitting there, all day long, behind those shiny windows.

Soft white steam streamed from a chimney, clouds half-hid a watered-down sun,

But there were no whales.  Not even, as far as I could see, a bird.

And still  . . . how they moaned!  The soundwaves felt so thick and strong,

And coming from different directions,

That you could weave them into baskets to gather fish or seashells,

Or fashion a hammock to lie in by the sea to watch the flying, roaming whales dive home,

Their strong smooth forms would slip with a splash between worlds of dry and wet,

Between above and below, majestically.

What could that roaring mean?  Trains?  Planes?

The crisscross of ‘freeways’,

So misnamed?

And how could it be that I never noticed it before?

Never stopped my work to search for the sight of whales

Despite all their calling out for me.

Scroll to Top