Once I heard a story told
that touched my heart profoundly,
about a Dolphin who
tried to warn a town in Mexico
about an earthquake forming.
The tale was too outrageous
to be true, yet it was true,
sworn to me by someone
who observed the facts.
The Dolphin was a Hero!
How? What happened?
Well, come journey
to events so unthinkable
it expands imagination
to conceive such things.
A fishing village
on the western coast
of Mexico arms the scene
with powers. Just wait,
Hear this story, it shocks.
Though be forewarned,
the ending may be sad,
and persons die.
Cry now, or later.
At Playa del Gatos,
(Cat Beach), a long seawall
juts parallel to shore;
there is an outlet to the bay
A dark fin was observed
at the entrance swimming
back and forth for twenty minutes-
A shark, a shark,
As it came closer,
strange sounds pierced the air.
Then a head
raised from the water; shouts
were heard: "Dios mio, a Dolphin".
The creature swam
to the beach
where he gently nudged
with his nose, a child
playing with his father.
A gesture meaning, do you want
to take a ride?
The father helped his boy,
holding onto him while the Dolphin
moved around light shallows.
a solitary Dolphin
swimming several meters
off the shore, making panicked sounds.
People did not know what to think,
at first it seemed the Dolphin
might be in trouble, or ill,
yet observation throughout the day
proved him to be healthy, strong.
Was this Dolphin, in fact, a He?
"Yes", observed a fisherman,
"I know this creature,
comes up to my boat quite often
several knots from shore."
"He's the leader from a pod
of fifty or so Pacific Bottle Nosed,
a herd counted in these waters
by the thousands, a common breed
around these shores, senor.
"I recognize him by his tail, see that part bitten off
just at the right fluke,
I'd know him anywhere,
never heard him make noise like that before.
"Early on a pattern was visibly formed,
meaning: The Dolphin would swim
right up to the beach every twenty minutes
and scream loud shrills
like whistles echoing, aching the ears.
"They were frightening, eerie
in pitch, unusual, painful
spouted through blowholes
filled with tears instead of sea water.
His cries shrieked the air with terrible strains.
"For seven full minutes
these dramatic outbursts lingered,
then he would loll out to sea
and return twenty minutes later
to repeat the cycle."
Folks gathered closer, a small crown formed,
to watch and listen. Sure enough,
the Dolphin right on time,
exactly twenty minutes by the watch,
came within five meters and screeched high-pitch.
An old woman, plugged up her ears,
several others did as well,
no one ever heard a Dolphin scream before
as loud, so long, so terrible a shout.
it shocked nerves alive, raw, white-hot.
And pumped hearts quick,
curdling blood to dread.
Was there a warning here?
Our Dolphin agitated,
lashing furiously these waters.
All the while, crackling sound waves
into our ears that positively hurt
like some terrifying lightning
It was a w e s o m e.
News spread all around
about this creature from the ocean
shallowing the marina
screaming his head off.
It was like a solo declaration,
Predictable, conclusive, every twenty minutes,
he would swim back to the crowd
shouting, indecipherable sing-songs,
forcing some to leave, they were so loud
and ominous, damp ragings from the seas.
Ringing through the hearing
like needles at the nerves,
scratching inner ears with sonic bursts
until some could not stand it anymore
and had to leave, many followed.
Still others came, to watch, listen.
and gaze at this phenomenon.
a Dolphin male, leader from his tribe,
renowned, a master of the waters,
wailing crazy, lashing.
Finally near sundown
The Dolphin went away
Spanish Phrasings echoed house walls
Oyez, Dios mio, loco, loco,
people talked and talked, mucha gente.
The whole episode was remarkable,
whole day from morning till sunset,
a male dolphin clicked eccentric noises
a few meters from the shore
where fishing boats dock Pacific waters.
With regular timing
he swam back to sea for food and rest,
then reappeared, yelling
his screech in Delpinese,
with such punctuated emphasis, Ay, ay.
Was he trying to say something?
Is there a message here?
A wise viejo from the mountains
said he was an omen from the gods.
A vieja agreed, waving her hand, nodding Si.
The villagers grumbled among themselves, after all, it was disturbing,
the dolphin's sounds were haunting
enough to remember forever,
they were that unique.
Fascinated children looked serious
and giggled, joking indecent innuendoes,
mothers shut them up, mock slapping their behinds.
Silencio, yelled their fathers, wrinkling deep brows.
even the smartest among them knew nothing,
All drew blank, blanco,
El color de Dios. Whatever this was,
it was a mystery, too strange to discover
easily. Eventually the town went to bed
where all nigh a lone faint cry moaned out
The waters, where a Dolphin
sang refrains to those
hearing the same cries earlier,
now asleep, through dreams,
a mournful call sprays across the waters
El jefe de la policia woke up about 3 AM,
so did una professora. Fishermen heard it
from their boats where nets were cast at sea
all night. A few people awoke, a tortilla maker,
un doctor, it was faintly like an anthem,
"Mexicanos al grito de guerra"
martial music, slowly erupting from the deeps
through darkness, penetrating the air
veiled in a sweet tropical night
with grief and awful loneliness.
This was enough to bring anyone to tears
those who heard these nocturnal chants
vocalized by the same Dolphin
Who all day uttered madness
washing damaged nerves in salt, real ear piercings.
A warbling, tremulous sound,
a high wail, then a low one,
tone-clusters across the waves
singing moans, then squeaks, a wild lingo
Este es totalmente loco, senor.
Incomprehensible. It sounds like trouble,
the waves speak an alien language
known through heart and mind,
they ring a vast alarm.
Those who slept, tossed discordantly,
waking up from bad dreams only to return to half-sleep.
Folks awakened by the cries, lay still,
reminded of the Dolphin
the enigmatic king of night.
The roosters sound first light,
church-bells ring the dawn,
time to get up, "Levantates,
ninos, get out of bed, wash up,
eat some fish and maize."
Sun rises over the mountains,
a clear day, slightly windy,
greets inhabitants of the coastal town,
children are off to school,
Las senoras go out for the catch.
Fishermen put their nets to clean,
mend, air out, eat breakfast,
then go home to sleep in peace
while los ninos are away.
Wives cook, scrub, and wash.
About ten o'clock in the morning,
though the Dolphin was on everyone's minds
life was adjusting back to normal,
Curious dwellers from the hills rode down on burros
word had reached them the night before
By homeward bound companeros
who had come down hours earlier
to purchase fresh fish for their familias,
the news had already spread throughout
la montanas, la populacion was very curiosa.
When the Dolphin dazzled in again,
morning rays of sol brillante
glinted all around his mirrored skin
The waters charged alive
by his thrashing tail, when suddenly he articulated.
Stuttering staccatos emitted from his vocal muscles,
the blowhole uttered shattering phrases
like electric shocks, startling everyone to attencion.
Mexican grudges surfaced, humanizing the situation,
guessing the purpose, reason, why, porque?
Ay-ay-ay!, reverberated the musing of the crowd,
words like serioso, Dios, Madona mia, Ayudame,
resounded along the beach, children ran out of school
to watch the commotion. Sure enough
the Dolphin squealed at the top of his voice,
Chattering a kind of noise heard only in big cities
honking horns, motorcycles speeding, ferrocarriles
clattering the tracks, clicking wheels
climaxing the point, Delphines espressiones
idiomaticos son complemente incredible.
What was he trying to communicate?
Was it pain, disease, death?
The Clattering of his overtones
proved almost deafening,
Que pasa? Que pasa?
An unresolved mystery only increases
human interest. As the day before,
our Dolphin made noise for siete minutos
then left the area for twenty,
returning to repeat the cycle until sundown.
That night there were discussions
at the cantina between the men.
Some thought the Dolphin was a spirit
returned to symbolize the imortalidad de Jesus
others felt bad omens.
Everyone had their theories.
Some were personal, for example, the Dolphin
was discontent because his mate died
and this terrible litany was his last cancion,
his ultimate words before the final solucion.
Death, destucion, nada,
despues del muerte de su esposa.
this unforgettable lyric
impinging the hearts of Mexican passion,
the cries before suicide.
No, No, still other theories went,
the dolphins were being driven out by
hoards of invaders, some fishermen saw
unfamiliar dolphins in the area,
a large number of them, in fact.
Could it be they were displaced
by another civilization and deprived
of fishing grounds?
I so that affects us too, the fishing folk.
No, there were strong disagreements.
You are all wrong, some one individual would expound.
It's obvioso, he is trying to tell us una cosa.
Something importante, we cannot understand, senores,
Todo, believe me, we are estupidos,
it is we who do not comprende.
No! Absolutamente no! Exclaimed a retired fisherman,
Yo conozco estes Delphines, they are contento,
they have no need to talk to us,
I have given them much observacion
I say he announced a special birth.
Later that night, again the dolphin
sang in plainchant. His vocals caught the wind
bringing inshore sound breezes to the hearing
of those asleep or waiting.
It did come, only this time, sadder, wiser.
He was alone in the water tonight,
thinking he would concentrate on certain tones
people might pick up and recognize
as he had learned to mimic human speech
from the songs of the fishermen.
Maybe the Humans will listen and comprehend
the meaning of my tones.
Hearken people, the waters rumble,
unusual events are taking place
the terrain has been shaking way down below,
quakings have frightened our matrons, young ones.
According to our soundings, a vent has opened
along the north rift of the volcanic zone
and has opened up the land to compound earthquakes.
These tremors have increased in magnitude
during the past two days, according to our estimates
we predict a major earthquake disaster is imminent.
We urge you to evacuate the shore.
there will be swells and tidal waves.
Can't you understand my urgency?
Whenever has a Dolphin come top shore
clattering verbal attacks into the atmosphere.
We know something heard below the surface.
You are fine people, who cause no harm.
We wish to warn your souls, go now,
evacuate the shore, take your families and scram
your town will be destroyed.
Take refuge, take refuge away from the sea,
coastal lands are dangerous.
Hear me! Hear me! People in the town,
an earthquake is coming
to take your homes
down to the sea, death snaps
with your lives, go away, go away!
The Dolphin repeated and repeated
this message in vain. the people
were amused, they gathered round,
but none moved away. No one understood,
his eyes roamed around to people in sombreros,
The looks on their faces, he thought
were strange, almost angry. He was several
Dolphin lengths away from the men
staring at him almost with a vengeance,
these people, he thought, were impenetrable.
And he was right, no one knew anything.
NO matter how he changed tune,
his language, to make it more intelligible
to Humans, the more curious it became to them,
people just weren't that smart.
Dolphins always knew this to be true
humanfolk were kind of dumb, yes, they were smart
in boat building, things of that sort,
but when it came to sheer intelligence,
Dolphins ruled the waves.
Down the centuries, we have seen
many shipwrecks, human tragedies,
created by man's stupidity, wars
and shipside cannon-fires,
Human blood spilled seaward, disgusting.
We know Man is basically unevolved
yet knew we had a duty to inform
the people of this village
with whom we had a certain bond
sharing these fishing zones together.
They were innocent and harmless,
never tried to kill us
being inedible perhaps? We think not,
knowing Dolphins are eaten by people
elsewhere in the world.
Here we weren't to their tastes,
that's all, we knew it, they knew it,
now everyone knows it. Only they don't get it.
All our speeches so in vain,
People must be deaf to Dolphin facts.
Otherwise they would flee for life.
the oceans down below ablaze
with volcanic action. Magma
erupts, the fault zones connecting,
we can hear Earth's tensions increase
Creaking the ocean floor, ready to snap
and whiplash the lands,
the seas shall rise in great waves
as tidal forces crash right in
and carry away what just crumbled.
Dolphin tones transmit
Humans run away,
flee for your lives.
Acute underocean hearing
senses rumblings deep down
beneath the ocean floor;
volcanics made upheavals
Way below where fires boom.
Earth quakings signal peril.
Oceans surge, the worst
is yet to come.
These tremors have been strengthening
for days, zig-zagging the grounds.
Ocean bottoms lurch, then shift,
low bass sounds pierce the deeps.
Our bodies receive the shock-waves
from volcanic earthquake sounds,
as lightning, thunder!
Magma pours out volumes
Scalding the oceans
vaporizing water at the vents
where red-hot lavas ignite
the salts to white-hot steams.
We sense these events
and picture them in sequence-
the ocean is boiling
as earthquakes increase.
Earth's tectonic plates
grind north and south at once,
the coastal range of Mexico
Dolphin cultures measure
earthquakes by the score
and thousands even more.
We tell you - THIS ONE IS DANGEROUS!
Other coastal towns
crumbles away destroyed before.
Dolphins have observed downfalls
all through the ages
The rumblings we are hearing
crack our consciousness in halves;
One part whole, intact,
the other blown away in vapor.
Underwater explosions unleash forces
capable of churning waves to foams.
Terrors lurk below the surface
undercurrents surge and swell.
Dolphins are the first to know
when sea upheavals do occur,
if only people were cool enough
to translate our language,
They'd be in less trouble.
Select one leader from a pod
within our Dolphin nation
and go warn them.
are especially difficult
for any species,
Dolphin or Human.
How on earth, can one Dolphin
speak to people
who do not recognize our race
as smart? It's stupid.
Regardless, peoples' lives
are in question, go stir up a fuss,
speak to them, perhaps a few wise
men will understand.
A bold leader volunteered,
one especially vocal,
a loud enforcer of his will;
the fishermen all knew him.
He demanded first choice
riding the bow waves
when boats went to sea,
and was a leader among Dolphins.
He planned his attack,
simply, without guise,
He would sleek into shallows
up-close and agitate waters.
Surely Humans would notice him
would they be able to heed
his warnings? Earthquakes
peak dangers in any language.
To people, human words
might best describe
the lingo of Dolphins-
sonic communications, echoing.
Click, clusters of tones
bursts of rapid sequences
decipher the glooms.
Dolphins are intelligent,
they see right into YOU.
Only the difference being
people know little.
What a race the Humans gender
build great ships
which sink straight down.
On the whole Humans bring peril.
The mission to save them
has the probability
of a percent or two,
it's that bleak.
They shan't hurt me, I know,
though I'll be in fin's reach,
my self-induced imbroglio
will charm them into understanding
A Plan into action.
Evasively swim in
using lateral motion
side to side,
Catch them unprepared.
And when suddenly
in their territory,
I'll signal a scream,
A cry, a sounding,
force of air
expressions of a language
setting off alarm.
far below ground,
Soon you will die
if you don't leave right now
Thrash my tail around,
show mock threatening gestures.
Mimic Human rhythms
in speech and in sound.
E A R T H Q U A K E S
People flee for your lives,
houses will fall
rock walls shall crush you.
Get out, get away,
Go up to the hills.
A tidal wave will come
and sweep you astray.
it might sound like this:
major danger, quakings.
Songs sing shrill notes
humans heed my tune.
Get out while you can
you still have some time.
Yet what would they do?
Just gather around
the sands to watch
this strange, wild, beast!
(Expletive!) Why don't they listen?
Surely my tone clusters
sound an expression. At least
they can get the drift
Of intent, but NO
they still pace around
scratching their foreheads
looking my way.
Alas, this is desperate,
I'll demonstrate reason.
Seven minutes at the shore,
Twenty past the reef.
will then prove
I have something to say.
Maybe only one will understand.
Delphonics are easy
once you get the sequence
of tone clusters.
I'm s h r i e k i n g D A N G E R !
Listen to my volume,
turned up loud like radio
Certainly, there's meaning here
Let my cries instill
Fear for your lives,
The quaking earth
below the ocean floor
will snap the fault line soon.
Get out while you can,
I prove these words to you
by perfect timing.
A warning, take heed.
By sundown, the people
were still standing
on the beach. Afterlight
on their faces, they were beautiful,
Colorful, unusual folk, kindhearted.
People in this part of the world
who like to play music, we heard
at night all our lives.
Tonight, I will make music
it will be sorrowful music
crying for doom soon.
A Dolphin too, must go fishing
to sustain strenuous activities,
and any hungry Dolphin
gets food, fast, then rests awhile.
A report to the clan
was not encouraging.
The town lights popped on,
everything as usual.
Little do the inhabitants know
of impending disasters
on a scale beyond doubt,
many will die, others might drown.
The Leader and his pod
huddled in a circle
discussing day's events,
they were depressed.
Their efforts seemed to no avail
The Humans were now slumbering,
Go sing to them now, let
the message penetrate subconsciously
Into their minds
on a more universal plane;
Perhaps the song may reach a place
to ignite a single brain.
At half-moon, the Leader
swam close to shore
and uttered this mournful tune,
here in verbatim:
"Human beings everywhere,
we love your town,
your people, laughing children,
we share our fishing zones.
We beg you out of conscience
to guide your way uphill.
Go higher, safer grounds
until after the quake and tidal wave.
I sing to you of Love
and the Dolphin connections
We like your people
and wish you no harms.
Go to the foothills
where grounds will shake less.
Take your people and animals
go toward the eastern ridge.
while you may.
Life is so dear
as to cry out this song.
Hear the tones
ring out in harmony
even the high-pitched moaning sounds
make sea-music sing.
May my sound-effects
impinge the mind
of such a one who will wake
up the clan to reality.
Among us there are wise
old Dolphin souls whose
deep insight illuminates
the truth O Human Beings.
Singing till first light
the leader then retired
for the early morning
to fish and ponder.
The town was up as usual
going about business
as though nothing would happen.
Meanwhile dramatic rumblings grow
the quake will hit soon,
A day or two at most.
Try again this morning.
Familiar faces greet
the eyes of such a one
brave enough to risk
his life and fins,
Ignorant of the coming
cataclysm about to be released
upon the coastal area
After the quake, a flood.
"My song keeps in tune
the urgency of attention,
I broadcast the news.
Grave messages pour out
from the deeps
A schism in Earth's continental
drift will crack today, tomorrow.
Move while you may
to drier territory
Save your souls
from death and misery.
Be warned, O Human people,
We love you with our passion,
Yes, P A S S I O N, else why
Do I persist so long and cry?
ring around the depths,
One Dolphin sounds
while the pod assents.
beyond the range
of Human hearing
Land Men before befell disasters
Horrific devastations, native peoples.
Dolphin memories go back hundreds
thousands of generations, more,
recalling catastrophic earthquakes.
will not compare
to natural debacles
ATTENTION-W A R N I N G !
We have seen the worst years earlier
and the quake's magnitude coming
measures high intense sound-waves.
Prepare for a setback, a bringdown here,
though most people can be saved.
Bottle nosed Dolphinese
X-ray the situation,
At dawn THE QUAKE impacts with fury
volcanoes rupture underwater,
spewing magma into ocean
The mountain floor retrenches deeply
lower ranges pulse in motion.
burst fault lines
Continental tremors jerk the Earth
and walls crumble down at once,
a force of higher magnitude sparks
volcanic rifts; boom, buildings collapse
as Dolphins peek heads out of water.
zany wave forms
through all volumes
of the sea.
Herds of people run to streets,
trees whip like tails upon the grounds.
Beach sands quiver dune-like ripples
Domicile roofs fall all around
Folks disperse, the soil crackles.
report bas news throughout
the Dolphin zones.
Elsewhere it must be worse.
Dolphin logic assembled facts in evidence.
the quake is centered inland, a nasty fate,
the area of utmost devastation occurring
higher up the mountains, beyond, where
Dolphins cannot see but only speculate.
Perhaps cities do exist
with pods of Men and Women
might gigantic buildings
fall to earth in rubble?
Indeed, the elders postulated, Humans
proliferate in million-fold pods.
they multiply in herds, swarms invade
beaches here and elsewhere, they're odd,
what was just destroyed they build upon
the lower ridges;
Look! People disperse the beaches,
except a few brave souls, hugging
on doomsday to their final breath
A tidal wave may come, though the wave
is short, one could come in by stealth.
in any language.
Dolphin of Human,
Free yourselves of gravity
now at once, rise to the occasion,
high up into the waters as Dolphins do.
Be buoyantly alive, stay away from coasts,
weather the tide and gigantic earthquake.
Humans suffer needlessly,
Weak foundations falter
when shaking earth easily
topples structures, people die.
the herds moved away from shore
out to sea, huddling, discussing events
last few days. Humans understood not
our warning signals, universal S.O.S.
cried too soon, too long, and more.
Our duty performed,
time to go on,
evolve as Dolphins
and salvage the day.
Sonar soundings assess the damages
at the greatest depths underseas
where the bottom earth divides
the earthquake fault line moves,
thousands of underwater rock avalanches.
Hear resoundings echo
lower level changes
in the seascape
After-shocks will come
To further warp underwater lands,
above surface grounds, other edifices
may tumble, volcanoes will erupt again;
Earth is fired up with energy.
We who inhabit the Oceans live not in vain.