(A juvenile whale has washed up on the Cowal shoreline- thought to be one of a group of three that have been in the upper Clyde estuary for weeks. The animal was emaciated and out of place.)



In the pre-dawn premonition

Before even half-light

A whisper of wings overhead

Felt, not seen (leaving me to wonder

Whether birds-eye views might help

Or hinder) Then a dark shape in the shallows, half

Submerged. Bulk no longer moving

With the waters, A hidden fluke flat to the sand

Like a lost cutlass


Incarnate no more

Just a carcass


In case we ever doubt that beasts feel grief

The parents swim in circles in the bay

And whilst we should avoid all anthropomorphic platitudes

I fear they are feeling guilt, as if that sonar shock which

Blew them up, too fast, from the dark depths

Was their fault

Not ours

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