Intelligent air breather immersed in the sea

‘My head is full of killer whales
and they are trying to get out!’ he said
face bloated
eyes popping under pressure of orcas
the mettle of deep spirit forces.

The incarnations of orca are many.

Spyhopping in cold ocean water
with warm blood and majesty
brutality cloaked by ethereal beauty,
tear-like haze covering black eyes that grapple my soul.

Showing off – porpoising in dark waters
breaching to good effect
displaying a strong, white chest like a silverback gorilla
black glossy back disappears into the depths
reappearing to display again.
I am mesmerised but not afraid.

Don’t get too close!
the force might suck you in
mass of savage flesh creating dire chasms in the water
juxtaposition of fascination and fear.

Then, hunting in pods like packs of wolves
speed, ferocity, synchronicity
wolves of the sea
following the bleating of lambs
a blanket of fear smothers my warm breath.

Conscious mind immersed in dream.


Orca was published in the Third Eye journal (Vol 1, Ed 2, Dec 2009)

16 thoughts on “Orca

  1. Hi to you up the top of the world somewhere. Thanks for your comments. Some people believe that the orca is a wolf and that the wolf is an orca, depending on the season.

    My orca cares!

  2. That’s a very beautifully made poem, the idea shifting in the middle, like an exploration of the idea of orca by shape-shifting the visual image. Very cool.

    1. Thank you kind sir. Shape-shifting – I like that, and definitely applies to the interpretation of the orca in dreams. Cheers Gabrielle.

  3. brutaltiy cloaked by ethereal beauty… this line really brings home the power of these amazing animals and the words of this poem. G

    1. Ta – did you know that orcas are dolphins (so when you say killer whale, it means they kill whales not that they are a whale that is a killer – ha!. I can’t believe we are getting them off NSW – apparently it is a good sign – more humpbacks mean more orcas (who want to eat their tongues – yuck!).

  4. That is a fantastic poem. Worth reading again and again, more wonderful touches and ideas revealed each time which is the real test of a great poem. This one is great.

    1. This is one of my favourites. I just received the rejection slip from Blast magazine but that’s OK – I’m starting to favour your view of the world and the democratisation of literature via the blogging community. Viva the revolution.

  5. I wonder if porpoises think themselves more highly civilised than their Orca brothers and sisters. Isn’t it amazing how we humans imagine our reflection in these creatures? This is a beautiful poem, Gabrielle.

    1. I just think they don’t wanna be the dinner – ha! Did you know that the orca is actually a dolphin and not a whale. They are brutal beasts but so intelligent and social – humans that is and so are orcas.

  6. Back to this poem, commenting here this time. As Paul says above, one wants to read this poem again and again. You said, “I managed to work out what my series of dreams meant on completion of the poem,” and I am as intrigued by that statement as by the poem. What an amazing thing to interpret a dream, though (again to quote wise Paul)I’m not fishing for an answer, exactly. Poetry is something that exists finally on its own. Of course.

    Gosh, I wish I knew what to say since it seems sometimes like we appreciate a thing more by talking, but I am blank. I think seeing a dangerous animal might provoke the same frozen (hamster) response. It says “Don’t get too close” and somehow my sense about it echos that admonition. If I point to a single line … and yet every line is so right. It’s like trying to explain a crisp Matisse drawing, but the whole everything is the everything.

    Intelligent air breather, so, yes I guess we’re included. and “incarnations … are many.” “Ethereal beauty” is what this poem possesses in meanings, forms, sounds. It is knife-like and yet beautiful.

    Well, I have drawn koi who are so tame compared to this. Will have to check out the orcas. — ak

    1. Wow, what a great comment, thank you Aletha. I have been visited by Orca(s) for literally decades (in my sleep) and they are strongly symbolic – and I love their visits. I’ve had a long time to work out what it means (and the meaning does vary as outlined in the poem). I have a strong interest in dream analysis and was going to do it for a living (via the internet) but poetry pushed it out of the way – I just stood back watching the two argue. The whole poem is a metaphor for dreaming (as is the first line) and because it is all subconscious – as the dreams all actually happened – it has many layers of meaning (as dreams do in real life). If you ever visit me in Australia I may give you the details – ha,ha! And you can bring the painting of Orca with you and I’ll buy it off you.

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