Humpback Whales

Whalers called their songs
the dark liturgy of Lucifer,
the grunts and groans of his aggrieved, 
fallen angels, echoing
through the scalloped chambers of the ships.
Off Hawaii, long ago, I first heard them cry
from their cathedral in the deep. 
The songs bring their solitary kind together.
And together the sonic pods 
become acrobats, cavorting,
leaping free and clear-eyed, 
high into the air, 
shaking barnacles from mottled snouts.
At times the placid humpbacks will float quietly 
on the smooth surface of a night sea.
Do you suppose the whales are gazing at the stars, 
the galaxies spinning 
above them in cosmic emptiness?

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