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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Beach Birth

During the week I heard on the radio about the whales who became stranded on Laytown Beach and Mornington Beach:
I always think that being beached is so incredibly tragic for these creatures.  It reminded me of a poem I wrote about dolphins.  I've looked for the poem and it was published in The Meath Chronicle in May 2002.  So yes, here's one of mine from the archives...

Beach Birth

Across the television screen the young reporter tells me
That over a hundred dolphins were beached today
On the stony, grey shore of Brittany.
Men in waterproof clothing help the creatures to water,
Like Arion they remember the debt they must pay
To this silver-backed sea-daughter
Trembling and thrashing now against the hard earth.

There must be a curse on the ocean, an ill wind of some sort
To drive the beautiful to disaster,
To take its own pride in natural cull.
There is little hope for the school according to this report;
The inward current is stronger and faster
Than a dolphin's swimming urge and skill.
Bottle-nosed and floundering they lie.

Their streamlined skin is no addition now,
Glittering and silky in the murky sand,
Soon to become coarse and dry like the ear of a sow.
High pitched screams fall tragically on the deaf land,
Heard only by the devil and the deep blue sea.
This is not an image to comfort any soul;
A listless, bloody dolphin's eye.

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