Lemn Sissay – Whale Translation
I speak to you on this memorable day
Through the translation services of a poet
I must commend Captain Boomer and his dedicated crew
On the good ships Mercedes and Miss Daisy
Who thrashed through my seas to try and dissuade me
And whose shadows traced me down the Thames to my end.
They are good men good women
But I did not want to be saved
Do not be distressed at the sight of me
I did not want to be saved. I am not lost
I am a Messenger sent by I-pod The Ruling Council of Whales
And the Ministry of Oceans and Seas to the people of landmass
of Greenwich of London of Britain… Of the Landmass
We have been trying to communicate with you for so long
New Zealand some years ago forty six women and thirteen men
– Whales to you – crawled onto the beaches and drowned in your air
They were my family… my family
I volunteered for this final voyage to meet them again
By the magnetic moon to the neap tide of the Thames
Onto your single shingle shore amongst broken clay pipes oyster shells
And worry stones left by fine spring tides
I have given my life on the cross harbor in to the darkened
Mud chute onto the Island gardens of next life
Where I shall meet them again
We are dark angels navigating the gravitational pull of solar and lunar.
I have a message
You live in one percent of your thirty percent of earth
Our oceans cover seventy percent. It is ours. It is yours
The whale nation knows all your migrations.
We felt the scour of wind rush upon our sea as she surged
From The Caribbean in 1948 and landed in Tilbury on June 22nd
We felt the trembling footsteps through the great partition of
Landmass of what was called india and is now India and Pakistan.:
We were rippled by shadows of slave ships, in the age of sail,
They whipped the oceans back and cut the skin of sea with cat o’ nine tails
And we saw those Africans float before us like
Shoals of black squid squirting ink in plumes
Four hundred years later we felt the tremor of great migration
Of free African slaves from the deep south to the north
Their climate change.
Now we feel the down pressure of air as each plane crosses the channel bringing great Polish men and women to these shores
We feel this in our seas : this is why I was sent by the council of whales
And the ministry of oceans of Seas
Birth is migration from the womb to the open air.
We are all immigrants
Death is migration of breath and air
The last migration. The vast migration.
Migration is our nature
I have been sent to tell you
Echo location. Echo location.
To be anti migration is to be anti nature
EchoLocation. Echolocation. Echolocation