Sally Bliumis-Dunn on

Published in Poem Of The Day

The whales can't hear each other calling
in the noise-cluttered sea: they beach themselves.
I saw one once- heaved onto the sand with kelp
stuck to its blue-gray skin.
Heavy and immobile

it lay like a great sadness.
And it was hard to breathe with all the stink.
Its elliptical black eyes had stilled, were mostly dry,
and barnacles clustered on its back
like tiny brown volcanoes.

Imagining the other whales, their roving weight,
their blue-black webbing of the deep,
I stopped knowing how to measure my own grief.
And this one, large and dead on the sand
with its unimaginable five-hundred-pound heart.

About this poem
"'Echolocation' is the title poem of my third manuscript. When I read that human noise in the oceans makes it difficult for whales to hear and causes them to run aground, I felt deeply troubled. The whole world felt off-balance and in a particularly precarious state with these gigantic pendulums of the sea suddenly swinging wildly."
-Sally Bliumis-Dunn

About Sally Bliumis-Dunn
Sally Bliumis-Dunn is the author of "Second Skin" (Wind Publications, 2010). She teaches at Manhattanville College and the 92nd Street Y, and she lives in Armonk, N.Y.

The Academy of American Poets is a nonprofit, mission-driven organization, whose aim is to make poetry available to a wider audience. Email The Academy at poem-a-day[at]poets.org.

(c) 2016 Sally Bliumis-Dunn. Originally published in Poem-a-Day, www.poets.org. Distributed by King Features Syndicate



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