Tag Archives: poem about dolphins

Baptism at Sea for dVerse Poets

“Baptism on the line, also called equatorial baptism, is an alternative initiation ritual sometimes performed as a ship crosses the Equator, involving water baptism of passengers or crew who have never crossed the Equator before. The ceremony is sometimes explained as being an initiation into the court of King Neptune.”  Wikipedia

Baptism at Sea

We were happy at Christmas. Pale Andy didn’t dance, but moon makes even mouse-hair gold, and it was golden hair that swung to breeze. Out on the deck, baptized by salt spray, we watched dolphins spread out in a line, racing our boat to the equator and winning, flipping tails and turning in one fell swoop, synchronized in their returning to where we’d all just been.
But we went farther south, turned west, then up again on Africa’s farther coast.

We cross a fine line,
speeding into tomorrow,
courted by the sea.

This is Fran’s prompt for dVerse Poets: This week, Let’s give thanks! Write a haibun about one person, place, or thing for which you give thanks. It could be your favorite playlist or album, a holiday getaway, childhood home, or someone truly special to you. Whomever, or whatever, you decide to give thanks for, let your haibun manifest that to us!

For those new to haibun, the form consists of one to a few paragraphs of prose—usually written in the present tense—that evoke an experience and are often non-fictional/autobiographical. They may be preceded or followed by one or more haiku—nature-based, using a seasonal image—that complement without directly repeating what the prose stated. The haiku is a Japanese poetic form that consists of three lines, with five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the third.

Ocean Koan II


Ocean Koan

The dolphins ride in on the music,
but why did they come here?
Did they seek to lend their harmonies
to a music new and queer?
Did they soar in on its melody,
come  in on a riff,
drawn by its dissonant whistle—
a mere beckoning whiff?

Whatever the dolphins are hearing,
whatever they’re trying to reach,
we don’t understand their language
as they lie stranded on our beach.
Perhaps we divert them with towers
that speak in a tongue their own,
and though it’s not our intention,
our messages form a koan

that they are driven to answer
as we’re drawn to outer space,
pulled to find our others
in an alien clime and place.
We believe we are harmless and loving,
at peace with their watered dreams;
when in truth we are drying their world up—
ripping it at the seams.

We send out the signals to pull them
to where they should not be,
like fairytales told to children
that draw them to our knee—
We turn our backs to the seaward window,
seal our ears to their keening tones
as the dolphins swimming landward
pave our beaches with their bones.

The prompt today was believe. As I am trying to get a book together, I’ve found an excellent way to meld these efforts with my blog.  As the prompts come in, I look for an older poem written to the same prompt and spend the time editing it rather than writing a new poem. This one has changed a good deal.  If you want to see the original, go here. Let me know if you like the original better.