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Odyssey from Africa 13c

Chapter 13c

In the tracks of these cetaceans 
For as long as he could follow 
So he said to Tor the shipwright 
"I will follow after Matto
 
“In the hope beyond all hoping 
That my boy might yet be living 
For my heart lies in the ocean 
I cannot return without him"
 
Tor knew better than to argue
So he did the best he could to
Make the vessel right for sailing
As he worked with Han in silence 
 
Bailing water from the bilges
Making good the sail and rudder
Tor then sailed off with the children 
Back to shore, while Han departed
 
In the opposite direction 
Solitary in his sail boat 
Searching all across the ocean 
For the plumes of blowing humpbacks
 
Soon he saw the breaching whale pod
Moving out to open ocean
Eastward farther from the island 
Han pursued the pod till nightfall 
 
In the dark he saw the creatures 
By the glowing phosphorescence 
As colossal flukes and flippers
Left a wake that glowed and twinkled 
 
Underneath the ocean surface 
And he sailed among the light-trails
Scintillating blue and silver
Marking out the great beast's outlines
 
As if sea had stolen starlight
But his heart was dead to wonder
Through the whole long night he traveled 
Followed without thought of sleeping 
 
Till he saw the glow of morning 
Pale upon the eastern skyline 
On he sailed among the humpbacks 
Looking now to see their blowing 
 
And he saw now all around him
Rising plumes of white and rainbow 
But the pod had grown much larger
Blowing whales could now be sighted
 
All the way to the horizon 
As the multitude of humpbacks 
Many thousands in their number
Filled up all the ocean surface 
 
Han's despair now knew no limit
As among the breaching humpbacks 
To and fro in endless pattern
He kept sailing, calling loudly
 
"Matto Matto - can you hear me!?"
Till his voice was hoarse and painful 
But he never once relented 
Ever sailing, ever calling
 
This vast gathering of humpbacks 
Was an ancient sight of wonder
That our current generation 
Will not have the chance to witness 
 
Han went on beyond all hoping 
Past his limit of endurance 
Searching wide and far for his 
Beloved son among the whale spouts 
 
Till he fell in deep exhaustion 
To a dreamless sleep of blackness
To the boundary of existence 
Motionless within his sail boat

Through the twilight into nighttime 
And through all the hours of darkness 
Han's soul drifted near the border
Of the living and the dying

Copyright © | Year Posted 2018




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