​It began at the poles
under the umbrella
of the Auroras,
celestial light suffused,
but seen as far away
as Pacific islands
like Bora Bora.

Humpbacks led the way
launching into the air
with a grace that
belied their size.
Sad baleen smiles,
on barnacled faces,
tears in their
enormous eyes.

Their vague silhouettes
haloed by the moon’s
silver bath.
Rising like dirigibles
into the skies,
Blue whales followed,
mothers and calves.

Ocean dripped from
the leviathans,
fell in continent-wide
swaths,
down on mountains,
down on plains,
it fell for hours
like a salt water rain.

As if they had become
part of the climate.

Sperm whales and Narwhals,
Grays and Pilots,
swelled the exodus.
Pods of Orcas, dolphins,
and porpoises leapt.
Beauty most had never seen
though they had lived
right next to us.

The vast trail spiraled
long into the
vanishing night.
Disappearing
into the stratosphere
as they dove into 
whitecap clouds,
flukes waving goodbye,
disappearing from sight.

The mournful sound
of whale song echoes,
above the hollow moan
of the seven seas.

All that remains
is an odor of death
oil tinged, and putrid,
like a refinery’s foul breath.

The Whale’s rain
has salted the fields,
and in them nary a crop
will grow.
Disease and starvation
wrought by negligence.
Humans with
nowhere to go.

M. Zane McClellan

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All rights reserved

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