I dreamt I was killer whale,

by Terry Boult

I dreamt I was  killer whale,
an orca as they're called.
I  breach the surface to exhale
explosively, enthrall'd.

With two tiny undultions
I slice right through a wave.
I swim with all  my  relations,
We  swim from birth to grave.

You'd call our group a  family pod
we number twenty four.
When we  hunt  lions, salmon, scrod
the young stay by the shore

I'm not quite an adult yet,
 my first time on the hunt.
 I have to prove myself and get
rid of the label runt.

I start to fall behind the gang
they move so fast and strong
I know that if I cannot hang
I really don't belong.

We used to practice hide and seek
a hundred times a day,
to learn to follow signals weak
and how we should forray.

The water is quite murky here
I see by echolocation
I chirp and with my teeth I hear
each  reverberation

I make a mental image from
the time delays I sense.
The waters buzz- a constant humm.
Our hunting is intense.

Just as the pack does pull ahead
I sense a mamouth fish.
Is it a monster I should dread
or just the chance I wish?

It seams to be four times my length 
at fourity feet or so
I pray that I will have the strength
to subdue such a foe.

It swims like no fish I have met
It moves more like a snake
But I've no choice, my course is set
A strike I have to make.

I'm getting close, I see it now
It has a bloody mane.
Like a deamon, expelled somehow
from Trident's deep  domain,

it shimmers like a ribbon ghost
or creature of the night.
If I can kill it, boy could I boast,
It would be a delight.

Its head is big,  its body strong
with mussels sinuous.
We struggle hard, we strugge long
It seamed disasterous.

I have to breathe, my lungs do burn
my jaw is growing weak
It looks if I will not earn
the victory that I  seek

So I let go and swim for air
I grab a  breath or two
then head back for the monsters lair
for I am not yet through

The sent of blood is thick and sweet
I hear the gang draw near
It's my last chance. There 's no retreat.
I must not show my fear.

The beast  is hiding out of sight
It grabs me by the tail,
It wraps itself around me tight
I twist and turn and flail

It's body covers  my blow hole
This may be  my last breath
we bite and knaw and pitch and roll
we're fighting to the death

I finally knock it on a rock
and shake its grip on me.
Then on its neck my teeth I lock
and struggle to get free.

I shoot straight up, into  the air
I've  finished off the fish.
Its then I see  the pod's right there.
God  granted me my wish.

While we did have a feast that night
the meal was bittersweat
For even thought I  won the fight
in victory lurked defeat.

"The fish was rare. Its called an orr"
My mother slowly said.
"Though noone sees them any more
unless they're floating dead."

"In days of old, the legdens say
the orr was quite a threat.
It roamed throughout the sea and bay
attacking all it met."

"They killed a slew of orca young
and many adults too."
 I thought that by defeating one
I really had a coo.

Then her tone grows calm and cold
the pod gets very still.
She stares at me and starts to scold
me for my childish will.

"We've learned to stay together, son,
a family through it all
and though a battle you have won
don't heed your ego's call."

"We've learned that as a group we win
the battles that we fight,
that egotism is a sin."
The pod all nodded, right!

"There is an alpha in each pack,
but that 's just for the girls
There is no rank when we attack
when  fury's flag unfurls."
"You think it fine to risk your life 
To win a battle grand
but what would happen to your wife
when you lie in the sand."

"The wiser women like their men
to keep a level head
it doesn't help the family when
bravado leaves them dead!"

"No creature of the ocean can
defeat an orca team.
You don't know how dismayed I am
In what we all have seen."

"You have an orca heart my son
but you have much to learn.
Do not take pride in what you've done
Respect takes time to earn!"