Whale Song – Ryan Delaney

I watch you erode,
Decompose into vast galaxies,
And collapse into the earth.

I watch you lay restless,
As bulldozers drag you from your dreaming,
So surfers can sleep easy at night.

I hear you calling,
Reach out my hand and feel you swimming,
You yearn for a sacred returning.

I watch them wrench you from the earth,
To drive and dump you in the dirt,
Where plastic stirs and the ocean is a distant churning.

They say you are breaching,
In the waters of your dreaming,
Where you swim at peace with your spirit seething.

My eyes cannot see you,
In the waters of your dreaming,
Trace the lines, find what it is you are seeking.


Poet’s note: Currumundi Lake runs out onto the stretch of beach called Wurtulla on the Sunshine Coast. The traditional owners are the Gubbi Gubb/Kabi Kabi people and the place is hemmed by dense coffee rock. In late 2017 a dead whale washed up on the beach and the council attempted to burry it in the sand dunes but it kept resurfacing and its blood attracted big sharks off the coast. Through the entire ordeal, the focus was kept quite anthropocentrically on the safety of the local surfers and the nearby residents (who did nothing but complain about the protruding miasma).

I stood and watched this sacred whale get dragged around the beach as the council attempted to make it disappear. It still swims in our memories.