Whaler’s Remedy

The captain raised his tawny head,
and spat an offer to his weary crew.
‘Your bodies may droop like lumps of lead,
but sail with me, let’s whales pursue.’

The whalefish blows an angry note
to its hunter, so long and wide.
With whom many battles were fought.
But yet again, the whale must dive.

A spear is flung aloft the prow,
hitting its target below the surf.
The whalefish falls, its torn flesh raw,
and sailors rejoice in all their mirth.

Whales may die, but they don’t care.
They earn a sovereign to their name.
The whales still roam, here and there.
Now and then, you see one lame.

1971, March


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