THE WHALE CHRONICLE I
North Pacific, China
Our race looks back to origins
beginning. We were born on land,
With feet and heavy claws.
Our skins were sleek with hair,
Infants suckled breasts.
We scavenged plains, valleys for our food,
animals, herbs and snails.
Breath was our vital force
As we moved along the forest floor
Among the grassy meadow foothills.
Males led the way, followed by the females,
nursing mothers, juveniles.
We roamed the woods in herds,
Fanning out to larger territories.
Our enemies were tigers, cats whose teeth
Could puncture bones; our blood
Fiercely in the aftermath of raging packs
Who left our skin and feces for the birds.
Ages cold and hot reduced our race,
Floods destroyed the trees
Where deserts burned
Volcanic mountains increased in height
And blew our faces into ashes.
As we rambled toward the shores,
Famine ruled the lands.
The only feasts were for the
Insects, snakes and parasites.
The world crumbled as the fires grew.
Few in numbers could survive, those who did
Were stronger in their wills, urging to go on
the flash of lava, lightning landscapes
That terrified even the mightiest.
At night, roaring creatures complained of hunger.
By day a thousand animals blindly foraged.
littered carcasses festering alive.
Airs were thick with smoke and sulfurs.
Vapors choked hard nostrils to the pore.
Tongues inhaled and crackled acrid odors
And molten gas into our
Our mouths were parched down to the roots,
The starved withdrew, the dead remained,
A few young bulls and females stumbled on.
Continental mountains followed oceans
downward from the flaming elevations.
Our remote ancestors wandered by pure instinct,
Searching for solutions to their hunger
As they hobbled goat-like on the stones,
in crevices, slipping into
Granite traps and fractures, falling into earth.
A few did make it to the shores
Where rocks and cliff met in windswept climates.
Sandstorms blew old wounds
The earth was cold, primeval, cruel,
And seas churned, waves erupted,
The tides engulfed sharp cliffs
Plunging straight down into the unknown.
Waters received our
bodies, braising them with salts.
Surrounded by unusual solutions
We learned to float and swim by legs.
We fished our food: shrimp, lobster,
Almost anything in reach of teeth.
sucked the juices from their flesh,
No water could we drink.
At night we slept on land
As we migrated down the coasts
Searching for safe sands to spawn
And rear our infant
Our hearts beat with the pulse of seas.
By day we lived among the waters,
Learning to think and play aquatically.
Tribal orders changed inside the ocean.
Our numbers grew to
families and clans.
Bull Males ruled with ruthless mercy
As we absorbed the teachings of the waves.
Glimmers, sparks within our minds controlled
Behavior codes, reforming societies in
Slowly through the generations we evolved.
By now we slept afloat, nostrils aimed to air.
We learned to sip long droughts and hold,
Expel and breathe in rhythms.
counting increased in size
To where we could hold a breath much longer
And dive for richer yields of food.
After centuries, hind legs expanded into fins.
One million years of
living in the ocean
Speak the changes in anatomy.
Nostril rising to the crowns of heads.
Bodies floating in a sponge of fat.
Eating more and growing larger.
Expanding bones to
store more oxygen.
Where breath blows furies did we dive for more.
In our bones we moved in paces
Older Whales are groaning on.
Ocean waters expose their faces
Roaming in a
Migrations traveled further
Than ever done before.
In warm lagoons we mated,
In cold we ate krill more.
We journeyed up and down the coasts
Between arctic and
What we endured the worst
Was easy eons later.
Our eyes developed lenses
To see without a glare.
Our ears revealed new senses.
We now had lost our hair.
through the throat
Warbled out in tones
Yelled by those afloat
To divers down deep zones.
Mountains fell by darker regions
Forbidden to the stranger.
As we moved along the
The days or nights were longer.
Rude words appeared for things
Like water, pain or anger
Groaned or grunted, swimming,
Fishing out of hunger.
Language toned in
In tune with shade and meaning.
There were wise and there were imbeciles,
Chattering or screaming.
A voice emits a sound
By waters yet unmanned.
Echoes off the
Shrieks in upward tune meant good.
Downward shifts spoke bad.
Rumbles in the oceans would
Communicate we're mad.
Following a logic brought
to calculate right distance
Between echoes caught
To chart our every instance.
We left the continental shelves and caves
To enter deeper waters.
Bull elders stormed the mighty