ODE TO THE MONIFIETH WHALE

 

ODE TO THE MONIFIETH WHALE

 

From somewhere off the northern coast of Norway where

The sea is deep enough for giant squid, his favourite fare,

He, a thirty five foot adolescent male, thrashed south

Towards the breeding grounds off Africa, his scented spout

Marking his direction. His satnav should have directed him

To make a right- turn west, say between Shetland and the dim

Silhouette of Orkney, to gain the depths of the Atlantic;

But he continued into the shallow North Sea. Now frantic

For food, and sensing his true direction, he bore west when

He saw a gap in the Scottish coast, and found himself penned

In the Firth of Tay. Exhausted, foodless, and without a map

He did not trust the water but made a lumbering last lap

East and beached himself near Barry Buddon, where he died.

Videos show the array of industrial machinery that plied

The sands to bury him, underestimating perhaps the pull

Of winds and tides.Now notices warn you and the full

Guff of his remains drives dogs daft and offends genteel

Nostrils, but it is a smell of energy, firstly of the gross meal

Made of him by thousands of tiny creatures, but more

Of the huge flesh now exanimate: the world’s largest

Brain, four stomachs, spermaceti, ambergris, the zest

That powered his half-mile dives into the briny ooze

Of the ocean bed. The stink of death here brings me news

Of life, its process terrible, its scaled invention never shoddy.

I’d like to see the resurrection of this body.

 

 

 

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