The deep moves slowly…
the matters of the heart
move like great whales
slumbering in a slow drift
of cold currents amidst the black deep,
dreaming their shadowy whale dreams
first conceived by whale ancestors
when the world was still young.
The deep moves slowly…
the matters of the heart
like great whales
arising to sing their plaintive pleadings
in expansive echoes
through the blue deep
where intricate whale song is born:
the amazing falsetto of birds
bursting from huge resonant cavities;
the bass throb of a monstrous drum
embosomed somewhere in a whale’s belly.
Here, in the sea’s middle world,
whale games are conceived in secrecy.
The deep moves slowly…
the matters of the heart,
like cumbrous whales arise,
until at last, breaking surface,
they thrust festive
spumes of spray into sea air
and with briny breath
drink sky.
Here, on the immense surface
of the world of the sea
where man organizes his armadas,
strains his muscles to pull in fat, round tuna
and gather sleek herring into his nets,
these monstrous, ancient whale brothers
are met with children’s squeals of wonder—
or the pitiless, swift harpoon
which makes all mystery
a commodity.
I have often slaughtered with anxious intent
my prodigious dreams
which surface to breathe…
those potent old dreams
which have laid long in the dark,
murmuring their mysterious images
into the sleeping mind,
calling the soul back to its ancient work:
to venerate the stars, and the cragged floor of the seas
with words—
lightning fast, blue-backed, sea-words!
which, like Christ’s own keys,
unlock monstrous, slow feelings
which move the mind down
into its depths
like a gigantic, lumbering whale
which growing weary of all surface sport, sighs,
and rolls its immense bulk over
to arc its great head down,
plunging suddenly down,
releasing its colossal weight
to the immutable draw of the sea,
plummeting, drifting


into the




Blake Steele

Molkom, Sweden

  • Artist
  • Artwork Comments 20

Artist's Description

I have been feeling the sea again and missing it. I grew up on the beaches of the Pacific and love the wildness and mystery of the Ocean. This is a poem I wrote some years ago about whales, those old, souls, those singing, silent ones.

Artwork Comments

  • Lisa  Jewell
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