We took our son
on his new bike
to the old town.
Right along the harbour we went
and while we were all looking the other way
he turned to say ‘I just saw a dolphin in real life!’
Immediately excited, I turned
to look into those broad blue waters,
which were starting to phosphoresce with evening light:
I wanted to see that dolphin in real life;
we all did.
Not caged or cajoled
into performing tricks for grinning spectators;
not swimming in a suncream-slick
of wealthy-tourist slurry
for whom the natural world
is just another commodity:
an experience to be Instagrammed
and then forgotten instantly,
immediately the like-count dies away.
All eyes sought the dolphin in real life,
then there it was:
‘My heart leaps up
when I behold
a dolphin in the bay.’
How the dolphins would cackle
to see us chained to desks,
imprisoned within offices ‘in
perhaps they already know,
the whole broad sea teeming with their laughter
until we catch it in the
broad, obliterative sweep
of the consumptive trawler net.
© Experimentsinfiction 2021, All Rights Reserved
Written for Earthweal
For this week’s challenge, Brendan has asked us to:
Write a poem that introduces the reader to the environment you live in –a landscape shaped by time with a culturally diverse ecosystem (with human, animal and non-animal elements). Widen the focus, deepen the gaze and green the voice. Be wild. Gallop and fly and dive a textures of suburban spring afternoon. Language is your friend and opponent here: be florid and peculiar but particular. What is in the petri dish of the verse-captured moment that undulates and cavorts and cha-cha-chas at the end?
I went blue rather than green, but to the same end. It was quite something, a week after watching ‘Seaspiracy,’ to see a Dolphin swimming wild in the Adriatic. Perhaps they are a little safer here from the broad sweep of the trawler net.