We know Migaloo.

We’ve seen him on the TV
on his trip each year.
Awesome sight
white whale.

Migaloo migrates
south to north
north to south
coast completed
land vibrates from his heart beating
feeding, breeding
like he has time on his hands
in Hervey Bay.

Safe place for humpback whales
tranquil waters
sheltered by K’gari
largest sand island
away from whale hunters
so called researchers
far from Orca
who would rip his succulent tongue out.

white fella
we keep the tourist boats far from you
nothing must hurt Migaloo.

We know you.


Note: Migaloo is an Aboriginal name meaning white fella. Migaloo the whale is a completely white humpback that can be seen in the annual humpback whale migration along the Eastern coast of Australia.

22 thoughts on “Migaloo

    1. No I’ve never seen him in real life, but I’d love to. He had been sighted the week before I went whale watching on a boat this year. The orcas tend not to come into Hervey Bay but they are further south in the open ocean.

  1. You are so lucky to live where you live. That is a very cool tribute poem to a very special beastie. It would be a good one to perform on your episode of “The Braul”

  2. what a beautiful poem, i feel like i know migaloo now. a wonderful thing, to know a great white whale. here we have right whales, humpbacks, a few fin, and the atlantic dolphins, harbor porpoises and seals. your poem made me realize how much i adore them, and migaloo has become an image that unites them all.
    thanks gabrielle, this is great!

    1. Wow you’ve out done us I think. Migaloo is a uniting image. I was trying to get across the fact that we as a community feel we know Migaloo (though we don’t at all – we just recognise him) and to know is to love (as they say) and we don’t want any harm coming to something we love – but what about all the other whales that ‘we don’t know’. I don’t think that came through very clearly – it’s in my head but maybe not on the page. Thanks tipota.

  3. Excellent Gabrielle .. glad my ‘White Fella’ got the inspirational juices flowing. He is a worthy subject, and let us all pray that the whalers don’t get him when he is outside our protected waters. He is unique .. the only documented fully white whale in the world. How special is that.

    1. Thanks for the inspiration Maureen. Hopefully Greenpeace stays on the whalers tails. There is no room for complacency when it comes to whales – fishing is only one of the threats to their population numbers (as I’m sure you know).

  4. “We know you, Migaloo”
    I am sure he knows, it’s why he is coming back to Hervey bay.
    Beautiful poem,it would make a very nice song.

  5. I’d love to see Migaloo. He is a reminder there is still magic in this world. I really like the environmental bent that often surfaces in your poetry. It makes me want to hug you.

    Long live the beautiful Migaloo!

  6. What a sight to behold he must be! Your words so beautifully and elegantly leave me with the feeling of what it must be like to be in the presence of such a natural living wonder.

    1. There is nothing like being close to a humpback – I wasn’t expecting them to be so big (even though I’d seen them heaps of times on TV) and their babies are huge too. Thanks for visiting and your lovely comments Tracey.

  7. The natural world offers us so much to marvel over… and this poem captures the rare beauty of one of nature’s wonders.

  8. Animal poems are tough to write, at least in my experience, but you’ve written this so well!

    You really make him come alive for me when you develop his personality and say:

    like he has time on his hands
    in Hervey Bay.”

    Wonderful! It’s like you’ve introduced me to a friend.

    1. Thanks Bryan. They do play and rest in Hervey Bay for a couple of months – that’s when the tourists watch them from boats (the rest of the time they just swim continuously and feed. They’ve gained our trust over the last decades when most whaling stopped (except for the Japanese hunting of whales).

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