41 North 50 West

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This is the imprecise location
where Titanic was strafed
by an AK-47 in 1912
and slumped
where at 4.15pm on an ocean liner
bound for an empire
I looked out from the balcony
for a sign of Rose and Jack Dawson
and in leapt two dolphins
one for each eye.

/They circled with other motes
gathering like great whites
to witness my reaction to the tragedy/

I double checked the radar for icebergs.
It was spring. They were splintering south
but the sea was empty that day
while my eyes were alive with cheery
mammals nudging me to tears so they could
slip out to try the buffet          European cheeses—
Rocquefort and Brie.

Precisely one century later a Bengal tiger
called Richard Parker            jumped right into my lap
in Ang Lee’s Life of Pi
3D so terrifying my eye dolphins
seemed like they’d come for a play.

Dolphins and whales confounded Aristotle
when they beached themselves in 350 BC
glittering pelts drying to black along the shores
of Greek islands like Kos
like the sunburst skins of fugitive children today.

 

‘Best poem’ of 2016 fourW anthology.  Booranga Writers Centre 

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