The Heron’s lullaby | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 01, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 01, 2019

The Heron’s lullaby

I glide through the salt wind;

I settle on the salt rocks;

I pluck herrings from the blue;

I hover over the Sperm whales,

The Minke, the Blue.

I’ve given them names –

Names I call out with my beak, like an ambulance siren.

Names that jive to the sound of crashing waves.


Angelia, Ophelia, Armelia;

They love it when I call them.

They know me. I know them. The wind knows us.

We are the flowers of this ecosystem of salt,

Which cups us in its palms with grace,

Which curls its lips to say Family,

Which sings us songs and gives us waves.


Its graceful palms fall powerless though

When metal hands emerge from the sky

And pluck the lives from the ocean –

Angelias, Ophelias, Armelias;

Snap them like twigs midair;

Bleed them dry;

Wear them on their fingers;

And disappear into the sky,

Leaving the ocean bloodied and mourning,

The ecosystem amputated,

And a little saltier than before.


I call out their names;

Ambulance siren in this ecosystem.

Maybe it needs to reach a hospital

Should there be an air ambulance

Flying through the damn sky?

Or a regular one?

Call it soon.


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