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Cetacean Creed

Imagine our fantasies about them are true, 
that they really had refined their songs 
into a melody of words, 
merged their herds into tribes, 
invented politics, became aware of death,                    
and now yearn for a faith. 
All their feelings are expressed lyrically 
and through the flux of pressure waves. 
Comrades swim in tight formation. 
Soon a whale messiah, a supreme bard, summons the wayward, 
singing that none should swim alone, 
each should buoy the other in his slipstream. 
In a world of motion, 
this messiah's call travels the deepest currents across the oceans, 
and all whaledom  gathers and sways as he moves, 
and is anointed by the gentle touch of his fluke. 
The common prayer, a breach into the air. 
They feel the winds which, by their creed, 
sail upward to the inverted blue sea. 
The clouds are worshiped as the sprays of ancestors. 
Purgatory is the rocky shore, 
the shoals pressed hard against their breasts 
in a world where hardness is unknown 
except at the end of their lives. 
But their bard  sees 
beyond the dry terrain to the most distant shore 
where the heavenly sea curves down to the land. 
He sings of their loved ones who have washed ashore, 
those ancestors who crawled on earth,                        
their sins scraped away by sand and stone 
till they reach the horizon of  the heavenly sea. 
There they rise again, swimming upward, 
breaching, spouting, filling the air with clouds, 
while below those left behind 
swim  together with their bard. 
In their world the living and the eternally living 
swim in tandem across parallel seas.

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