Category Archives: Orca

“Nods to Season’s End”


“Nods to Season’s End”

Nods to season’s end in sight and something’s changed; he has
Fond remembrance in his veins and what remains of velvet skin,
Elastic reach, and exultation ever on the rebound, that once mighty fin
Bent perhaps to one side at times with the tides. Of course, he’ll come in last
Again, with no more north to his days, why wouldn’t his dorsal sag–
One of many signals. What was wont to win against the odds
In all his winds; savage waves have always been his simple treasures. The pods
Have someday left, or has he merely turned left? He leans retrograde and lags
 Finding pleasures in arenas, nearby bays, or just beyond the nets
Where all lessers still pay for what gains they find. Yes, his presence draws
But he cannot make a living this way. There comes that sundry sudden pause
Too many, and he’s trapped within an unforgiving inlet,
Or soon will be. He’ll not heed the signs, he cannot feel the warming;
Friends and family call to him but he can not hear the warning.
Above his seas are joys, the residue of being; happiness in the lark
And beaver, minions in the termite mound and anthill,
Cartographers of great cats and so much prey in the cathedrals
Of the grasslands and savannahs. What, then? If within this arc
By consummation is meant the nadir or the zenith of the flesh,
These accolades surely were and are the goal
Within the womb where division furthers nothing in the soul
Save loose-formed armour sewn to suit the coming dawns and dusks. The mesh
And weapons of the mighty tusk or needlework of poets for the faint of heart
Bring peace, but bliss? No, by God! No lasting joy accrues without the proceeds,
No finer path but what leads to families and winters left behind, and what meagre
Lights for journey become moot where there is no luminary. These lands depart
From substance and ephemeral change—the placeless placed—is never traced
And all that isn’t’s put to simple use from atavistic memory or puerile waste.


…wood sculpture at top by Cody Mathias, photograph at bottom by John Hyde…