Whale Fall

20190407_111821A journey of  slow descent to the ocean floor.
Does it begin as the spirit leaves?
Will it’s family miss
Now it’s gone?
Falling
Slowly
toward
The
Abyss
Calling
A banquet
Into
Session.

Darkness

Grows

Darker

As

Water

Grows

Deeper

All

In One

Piece

Since

Death

Came

In

Peace

The

Slow

Progression

Of Bodies

In Motion

Sliding

 

Further

 

 

Into Darkness

 

 

To Land

 

 

 

 

On the floor of the Ocean.

Blue Whales are one of several species of endangered whales. The Blue Whale is the largest animal that we know of to ever have lived on Earth. Despite its great size, it eats some of the smallest – existing on krill and plankton strained into its great baleen plates.

Whales are big. Unbelievably big. To paraphrase Douglas Adams, you think an Elephant eclipses your buddy Roy, but it’s just peanuts to a whale. The only whale I have seen is a humpback, and I was completely thrown by the size. Blue Whales are over twice as large (their heart is the size of a small car). A blue whale calf can be 40 feet long!

They are threatened by hunting and ocean health in general. As with most ocean species, climate change is having an adverse effect.

While doing research for this poem, I found a great little write-up on whale fall by Ursula Vernon. Poetic (though likely inaccurate) to imagine an old whale passing peacefully in the ocean, sinking slowly to the floor to create entire ecosystems.

The Rhino Knows

No Rhino need knows it has a nose that is known
I doubt it would keep it from strife.
It’s horn it grows until it shows those prone
For extracting it along with its life.

The Rhinos foes do not oppose or bemoan
A horn be it black, white, or Javan
They goes to meadows where it is grown
Do the deed and don’t bother to dwell on.

The rhino knows not its nose is known
By foes who impose wildlife.
The rhino grows in peace solitary, alone
And isn’t awake for the knife.

While perhaps a measure of frivolity is welcome, it is a challenge to bring to the Rhinoceros. The most threatened extant species are the Black, Javan and Sumatran. The Javan has less than 60 individuals. While a challenge to tell a person they should not hunt animals for food (in the case of the gorilla), the rhino is poached for its horn.

The horns are ground up and used for medicine despite having all the effect of a mug of nail clippings. This is why they are shot and killed – so their horn can be removed. Conservation efforts are considered poor at best in most cases. The White Rhino has made a comeback in recent years, but is once again seeing a decline in numbers.

Thankfully, Rhinos can often be found in zoos. They are beautiful, amazing creatures if you ever have the chance. Their skin is thick and appears plated. They feature in one of Rudyard Kipling’s Just-So stories as well.

Beware of the Leopard

Beware of the Leopard is what the sign said

It has claws and sharp teeth and needs to be fed

But I’m not a wild boar or a large ungulate

I doubt spotted cats find human taste great.

The leopards prefer hiding in snowdrifted plots

Protected in thick fur wrapped in florette spots.

Beware of the Leopard? The fear’s overblown.

Leopards ought beware humans, the record has shown.

The Amur Leopard is… a leopard. There are about less than 90 in existence right now. Amur Leopards live in Asia, the most critically endangered of the leopards. Solitary and likely a pro on the basketball court with their vertical leap, they prefer to play in one-on-one tourneys when possible. Like most giant cats they are carnivorous. They enjoy the cold snowy winter as well.

The poem’s title is a reference to a sign in Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The reference is far more appropriate than one may think – Douglas Adams was a great proponent of endangered and threatened animals. The Amur is on top of many endangered species lists, partly due to the alphabet, but also because there aren’t many left.

Ded Jimmy Gets a Haircut

This is an almost-finished poem for my poetry book “Ded Jimmy: Poems with Illy-strations.” The drawings turned out well, especially with the barber. The poem itself is still being reworked. Please feel free to comment on your impression of it as a whole. I can’t format it right with the pictures full size, so you’ll need to click through.

Ded Jimmy Gets a Haircut

“What about a haircut?” Ded Jimmy said,
Patting the hair on his round curly head.
“In such a short time my crown’s gone askew
It must be time to procure a new do.”
jimmy-wig.png
The man was not far, it was quite a short walk
Jimmy sat in the chair and they started to talk
About sports and items political, too.
“I’m right,” said the barber. “I’ll prove it to you.”

He hmmed and he hummed over Ded Jimmy’s hair
And asked him politely what was wrong with it there.
“It’s lovely,” he said. “You really look good.”
Ded Jimmy replied “Why thank you, dude!”

But I wish it were shorn, for it’s really quite hot.
It makes my head sweaty. It itches a lot!
I thank you for your kind words and all that you’ve said,
But please do this for me and shave my poor head.
barber-chair1.png
“I shall,” said the man. “Though it pains me a bit”
And he fussed with the comb as his brows knit
In thought and ideas as he readied the scissors.
“If I had this hair, my true love would I kiss her.”

“I am jealous, it’s true. You don’t know how lucky
You are. But too bad, I better start plucking.”
With a frown on his face he plunged the comb in
To the thick vibrant locks much to his chagrin.

But as he pulled up a lock to make the first snip,
He felt not a tug, not a stop, not a rip.
For skelling-tons do not grow hair like us folk
Someone had played on Ded Jimmy a joke.

For to the amazed barber’s eyes the hair lifted off
Leaving a bony white head in need of a buff.
He blinked in surprise and showed the dead boy
“Someone has fooled you,” he said, hiding his joy.

“The wig is undamaged! Beautiful, too!”
“Why it is,” Jimmy said, “So I’ll give it to you.
“Use it tonight, surprise your one true.”
“Why,” said the barber, “I must thank you.”

He took a fresh cloth and wetted it down
And swept over and on and around
Young Ded Jimmy’s head until it positively shone
Bright white and shiny. An enviable dome.

They shook hands and Jim left with a spring in his feet
Whistling a tune as he hopped down the street.
The barber looked after, standing outside the store.
He smiled, walked in, and shut the wide door.