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Saturday, 2 April 2011

I Delphinus

According to the ancient songs my people sing
we walked on land in long ago - as flippers will
confirm. Their build is for a five-toed limb. Beyond
which, we have vestiges of hind limbs and of hair.

You humans know about our echo-ranging skills -
what you call sonar, if you please, like we are ships!
It no doubt pleases you, suggests you're on a par,
that you've caught up with our technology. No chance!

Did you not know we can transmit far more than clicks?
Whole visions of the world around us we can see -
pollution makes no odds - and furthermore, we send
these postcards round the world to others of our kind.

And if it's true we walked on land, we're talking back,
beyond collective memory, we're tailored now
to fit our ocean ways. How many years it took
to work that change, we can but guess. It turned us grey.

The trouble is, your human race lacks gravity.
Consider how you see my race: a spectacle.
Both following your ships and doing circus tricks,
we're nothing special. Most of nature is the same.

We creatures of the sea, like those of air and land,
see things contrary to you, but no less valid.
If only our two sonars could communicate!
What visions of salvation would be there to share!

*


This is my response to the Poetry Bus prompt of Titus the Dog, but please do visit Titus to read up on the whole project.

31 comments:

Titus said...

Dave, there's something very compelling about the Dolphin's voice in this, and I'm still trying to work out how you acheived it. It's more than the message, but something in the verse too, yet I can't put my finger on it. Saturday morning brain!
I particularly enjoyed the past/present/future, and especially the reaching out - the dolphin sees clear, but never condemns. Allows us to be valid. Good one.

Titus said...

And it I could have it for book, that would be grand. Let me know, or e-mail TitusmckayATaolDOTcom.

Dave King said...

Titus
What can I say? Could not hope for more in the way of a response, could I? Of course you can take it for the book. All success with it.

Isabel Doyle said...

nice swimming Dave - do you remember 'so long, and thanks for all the fish'?

Elisabeth said...

From the perspective of those who course through the sea, Dave. I couldn't imagine it myself but you've done wonderfully well. Thanks.

Sailor said...

Nice post!

Trellissimo said...

Nothing fishy about a dolphin's view! :) The same may not be said of Cad and Ada...

Dianne said...

I agree with Titus, this paints a 4-dimensional view.
Di

Argent said...

I like the straightforward language in this and the ever-so-slightly condescending tone of the speaker.

Neat ending too.

hope said...

I love the majesty of the dolphin with that slightly exasperated, "humans, what can you do with them?" tone that puts us in our place.

I like the rhythm of it too...as if riding on the crest of waves.

Deborah said...

Wonderfully written!

sharplittlepencil said...

David, I happen to agree with your premise, first off. DNA proves we are one gene removed from them, and from PIGS!! Also, your line about "gravity" and how humans lack it resonates in the way we are killing our ancestors. We lack gravitas as well.

Excellent, publication material. Submit this one.

Amy Barlow Liberatore

Helen said...

Oh Dave ~ Dolphins rule in your world! I loved this, read it to myself and then read it out loud to myself. Will you sit next to me on the Bus? Tell me more about your dolphins ..........

Windsmoke. said...

Dolphin's are amazing creatures :-).

Short Poems said...

Dolphin's are beautiful creatures and your write is wonderful :) :)

The Bug said...

I love your poem - but it makes me even more sad and angry about how we seem to care little for the natural world around us. That's the collective "we" - I know that there are those of us who do care, but we're outnumbered!

izzy said...

clicks and beeps of sonar would probably be happy way to talk. great job on this thanks.

Dave King said...

Isabel
Collective memory, I guess! ("I" being the dolphin, of course.)

Elisabeth
Appreciate the comment, thanks Elisabeth.

Sailor
Thanks

Trellisimo
You have me there, I think. Welcome to the blog. Really good to have you commenting.

Dianne
That's valuable confirmation, indeed. Thanks so much.

Argent
Very many thanks. A useful comment. Good to have you visiting.

hope
Welcome and much thanks. Another really useful comment.

Deborah
Thanks for that. Good to have your comments.

sharplittlepencil
Hi and a warm welcome to my blog. Thanks for the very gratifying comment which is greatly appreciated.

Helen
You are right in that. If I could have my way, I think I would have Dolhins ruling. Their intelligent enough and the world needs another sort of intelligence, I think. Thanks for commenting.

Windsmoke
Very.

Short Poems
Hi and welcome indeed to my blog. Thanks for the visit and for the comment.

The Bug
Hi. Good to have you visiting. Your comment is spot on, I think.

izzy
they're a possibility, I think, but I also like the idea of pictorial thinking!

Enchanted Oak said...

Transmitting visions around the world ~ I had no idea. You've done a good job of creating a compelling dolphin narrator. I enjoy the perspective of an animal speaking to me. I love the line "It turned us gray."

The Goddess’s Daughter

Dave King said...

Enchanted Oak
Hi, good to have your comments. Thanks for them. I have to admit I had a soft spot for those four words when I put them down.

Emerging Writer said...

But no less valid.
See the incomparable Douglas Adams.
Thanks Dave

Jinksy said...

If only our two sonars could communicate!

If only, indeed...

Everyday Goddess said...

i love this. i gave you one of my weekly goddess awards which you can collect if you like.

this is beautiful writing.

Peter Goulding said...

Ah, dolphins might be bright, Dave, but they couldn't write a poem like that...

120 Socks said...

Sorry, arriving late after a kinda mad mother's day, but loved this.

Dave King said...

Emerging Writer
Thanks, I will do that.

Jinksy
The more I think about it...

Everyday Goddess
Hi! Welcome to the blog and many thanks for the award. I shall be along.

Peter Goulding
Nope, not like that, but maybe a graphic one! Thanks for the response.

120 Socks
No prob's. I had one of those as well.

Doctor FTSE said...

Dave . . great poem as usual.
For a while I was associated with Aeronautical Engineering and used to think . . "Yeah! We're getting quite good a flight!" Till you watch kestrels hovering. Or barn owls in totally silent flight. Or the Andean condor soaring on those superb wings . .

Lucy Westenra said...

Another well crafted piece.

Kat Mortensen said...

A lovely piece. I enjoyed the dolphin's voice and this really struck me: - and furthermore, we send
these postcards round the world to others of our kind.

Glad to have the chance to visit you and enjoy your fine work again, Dave.

Kat

NanU said...

Hear hear for the dolphins! We owe them so much more respect.

Dave King said...

Apologies good people for being so tardy in getting round to you.

Doctor FTSE
Thanks for this comment. Yes, I can see exactly what you mean. There's "good at" and then there's "good at"!

Lucy
Welcome again and many thanks for the comment.

Kat
Thanks Kat. Always great to have your comments.

NanU
Indeed we do.