Remembrance species zine

Remembrance species compilation zine/download

Track 23, Prayer for the Blackfish from the collection Faultline, played with Jer Reid, guitar and Catriona McKay, harp.

Prayer for the Blackfish

Roam all your seven tonnes
hundreds of miles
No cracking your teeth
trying to chew your way out of tanks
clap, clap making you formation jump
young calf wailing for its mother in isolated pool
No dorsal fin collapse —
the mournful psychosis of captivity

You sound the waters
pulsed calls, low frequency pops
high directional whistles and clicks, speaking
in distinct dialects from phonic lips
pod by pod, your intimate proximity

your song which travels
four and a half times faster through ocean
than air, those long waves in the waves —
millisecond clicks in trains,
projected through rounded forehead blubber
an acoustic lens sending beams
to bounce
and echo back
into the listening fat of your jaw bones:
all the shapes, their composition and speed
at swim to hear

No shipping traffic
or military radar
disorientate you, beached
your lovers coming to you there
small buckets, wet towels
watching your blowholes blow
shading you from the hot sun
close to your huge eyes
telling you
you can do it
the tide is turning
it’s not long now
it’s not so long

No trash vortex
plastic islands
oceanographers reading cargo spills:
a measure of currents in a swell of
Nike sneakers
small rubber ducks
bits of lego
in the Atlantic

No more this toxic love story
shrink-wrapped and sealant, sweating
osmotic micro beading
into marine cell walls
from exfoliator, toothpaste, plastic silt
in shampoo bottle, flip-flops, nylon cord
oil drum canisters, polyester microfibres
making filaments in Blackfish breath
lungs, them ingesting thin skeins

Lulu, they named her
all washed up dead on Tiree
one of a pod of eight, snagged in polypropelene rope
her skeleton in the National Museum now. What use?
Pcb levels in her blubber, a hundred times higher
than would have consequences
never calved
and there’ll be no more calves now
and not long it’s said before
all the Blackfish
will be gone from these waters

Whoever we pray to, however we pray
let us pray harder

Sing hymns to the oceans
let us do this together