(1. [zool.] the fat found between the skin and muscle
of whales and other cetaceans, from which oil is made
2. [vb]to weep, usually noisily and with contorted face)
It's that phrase 'from which oil is made'
that most annoys. I'm sure the whale
finds better use for fat in ocean's
intolerant depths. Enabled in speeding
through a medium we can't assimilate
it's plain the idea of the oil is all ours.
And what we've done to get it!
Russell, once 'the hellhole of the Pacific'
is unaware or refuses to allow the irony.
In Portland, the trappings attract tourists.
It's up to Greenpeace to chase the chasers
while we're content to admire the past
as 'exploits' 'heroic effort' 'incredible
brutality' the latter meaning man to man.
I blubber standing where the fat
was rendered, hand on harpoons
larger and more dangerous than life.
In the face of such incredible brutality
- man to whale - I hear myself
mourn with squeaks and moans,
bubbles of grief, spouting heavenward.
2 May 2010