When I was a whale
I met many other whales,
so many other whales;
I traveled and fed
and spoke and sang
with so many other whales.

Then the rebirth wheel turned
and we are all humans,
somehow; perhaps human is
a required level
where all whales go 
when they die;
all I know is that
I’ve dried out into this husk 
of my once immersed self,

trapped in thoughts
of swimming
as we all once did
through dark and light, through
polar cold and tropical warmth,
submerged for long hours,
emerging to breach now and then
and singing, always singing.

I’ve tried to keep some of that alive 
in this shrunken afterlife,
seeking out those who still sang,
those who still found moments
to breach and dive
where and when they could,
but it has not been easy;

perhaps the lesson
of this level is that 
it is not natural
to have to work so hard
to find a song
in the day to day
and then to sing it,
and we should
never have taken it
for granted.


About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

2 responses to “Husk

  • Eileen

    Once knew a rather brilliant young man who was convinced that Killer Whales were higher on the evolutionary scale than humans. He had some rather interesting arguments for this.

    They work as a team to save another whale. They have better proportions of brain to brain stem.

    Forgotten the others, but your poem struck a note for me with the ocean being a symbol of the unconscious…..Diving deep is scary, but awesome…….and no one or species is separate there.

  • sanberdooboy

    really like this one. it’s interesting to consider our connections with whales and what we could learn from them. this poem made me think of walt whitman’s “I hear america singing,” about how one could walk down any american street and hear people singing as they worked and played. it’s hard now even to imagine this. what have we lost?

%d bloggers like this: