The Wonder Of Whales


Whales don't have gills like fishes do,
they take their breath from sky,
so always sleep
far from the deep...
and with half awake minds
on their air supply.

They float near the surface of oceans,
semi alert while half dreaming
of lives fully free
of human debris,
shrimp-trawling boats,
and submarines.

It's a wonder they still have a place,
the space for raising families...
to think they left
the land in quest
of safer, broader horizons,
as once were seas.


  • Author: JHEJ (Pseudonym) (Offline Offline)
  • Published: June 8th, 2018 10:18
  • Comment from author about the poem: June 8 is Ocean's day : help clean a beach, or persuade the government to do it ~ sign an online petition ~ or stop eating shrimp ...please do your life affirming bit!
  • Category: Nature
  • Views: 54
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Comments +


  • GON

    You may have a point about oceanic pollution, and I'm not critiquing that idea because that is completely unrelated to the poetry itself, but that is precisely why I feel this poem fails. The core conceit of it is disconnected from the essence of art. Instead of starting with a question and using the poem to work your way to the answer, you've instead started with an answer with no regard for people who may not have even asked the question. Now, I am by no means innocent of this crime against art either; I've written some poems which were too ideologically driven as well, but it's a bad habit I do my best to break.
    Now, weak concept aside, I think this also struggles structurally. The lines follow a rhyme scheme that I feel really makes it difficult to bridge them together.
    I think perhaps you would have done better writing an essay about the state of the marine environment rather than piecing this poem together. There's really no valuable place for it in my estimation.
    Nothing against you personally either or the ideas you intend to convey. I hope this is helpful.

    • Jhe

      In response to GON's utter disdain:

      I began my whale poem with some interesting facts about that creature because some people will only care about an animal's habitat if they are first made to care about the animal/s living there...
      Unfortunately, instead of being fascinated by whales, some see them only as competition (in the search for food) ...even some of the people already trying to clean up the oceans think like that!

      And then there are those people who wouldn't read past the first line of any overtly political poem ~ if one such person learns something new about whales from this poem (before reading into its political agenda) then it will have earned its right to exist ...and i will be happy because that person will be one step closer to actively caring about these things.

      The rhyming scheme evolved along with the poem and i am evidently happy with it. And although the poem could have celebrated other aspects of a whale's life, & elaborated on man's abuse of the oceans, i have already covered those things in other poems...
      I believe these three verses introduce the subjects of the whale, its habitat, and our abuse of both, quite adequately.

      No doubt an article on eg "the state of the seas" could be made to include some of the points presented in my related poetry, but this is a site for poems...
      even ones you don't like.

      • GON

        I don't believe my personal preference comes into relevancy here. I don't mean to attack you personally, but there are contestable elements of the composition of this poem I wanted to address. I think you should be more open-minded and reflect a little bit before jumping to defensiveness.

        • Jhe

          even though you gave me gpod reason to be defensive, my response to your earlier message was not...
          many poets use similar styles and methods to those i used with this poem, and their work isn't lambasted the way you lambasted mine, yet rather than complain about that i explained myself to you...
          in the hope you would then open your mind to the possibilty that even poetry you disapprove of can be enjoyed by other people ...that art is like all things of beauty ~ it is in the eye if the beholder.

          my various styles and the subjects i choose to write about are no less valid than yours.
          i'm sorry someone made you feel bad about your politicized poetry efforts, but you really don't have the right to try doing the same to me

        • SLR

          I've always loved whales and I HATE pollution in all its forms so even though I don't believe that whales came onto land as suggested by evolutionists, I still enjoy this poem. Don't take gon's opinion to heart, I'm sure he meant well. Even if it did come off a bit like a sanctimonious rant. I enjoyed it and the message. Great post.

        • Jhe

          for reading my poem
          & for sharing your appreciation !

          i must admit
          i too thought whales evolved from sea creatures...
          i mean,
          land mammals did !
          (fish → amphibians → reptiles → mammals)
          so why not sea mammals ?!

          there are no fossils to support that theory...
          not yet, anyway 😉

          who knows,
          maybe the fossils we want to find are buried beneath the seabed...

          and god knows science is only a learning experience / a quest for truth, not the absolute authority on ...anything.

          i suppose i should've kept that in mind when writing the "safe seas" verse; i will (albeit not right now) see if i can 'neutralize' it.

          thanks again, J

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