... gentle, graceful, goliath
Below the swirling vortex in the sky.
Are the slower, expansive meandering vortexes of the deep ocean.
The glassy surface between sea and sky is an ancient mirror, spanning vast horizons.
Giant white clouds move like magnificent whales across the sky.
And then the mirror shatters.
Salt stained storms, brew ominously above.
A calm still ocean has transformed.
In its place, a dynamic, crashing mountainscape of dark thunderous sea.
Currents of torrid wind whip across these epic waves.
And yet, even now, your forest is still.
A short distance below the surface, the deep ocean remains as calm as your heart.
The whale can see the storms above, with quiet awareness.
Awareness absent any anxiety, absent any fear.
Storms come, and storms go.
The upside-down sky is always calming, and with your sail-like leathery flippers and tail, you glide ahead like a goliath of the sky.
Weightless as if in space, staring ahead into a deep blue galaxy.
The sky is calm now, and you shoot part of the ocean into the air, as if ritual offering.
A thank you for this mirror, and the chance to , albeit briefly, peek above the surface into this parallel world.
You live on the other side of the portal, but the white whales in the sky, your kindred spirit, watch you with the same sense of awe as every other creature on the ocean, on land, or in the sky.
Giant, floating goliath, gentle in heart.
Deep in presence.
Deep in the wisdom you bring the world from the tranquility of deep ocean.
-- by Andrew Noske
About this Poem...
Description/motivation: I wrote this on a plane on route to a camping trip in Utah, and the poem is dedicated to an amazing girl called Mary. I met her the weekend before at a spirituality retreat and we connected with dance. We actually filmed ourselves dancing by my pool before I dropped her off at the train station on her route to Mexico, and then return to her home in Boston. On the dance floor, we connected so magically, but it was on the retreat I got to ask her all about life and also her animals. She gave three... one was a velociraptor, which I thought was random, the other a hawk, and finally a sperm whale. She noted that none of these animals are animals you can really touch... the only one of them that lives on land is extinct. It was the whale I thought suited her best (plus I've already done a poem on a hawk!) so I wrote this poem to dedicate to her. There was, admittedly a temptation to call it "sperm whale", but then I'd probably resort to my tendency to make the poem educational... to talk about the sperm whale as unusual, in that is dives incredibly deep (even for a whale) has teeth and feeds mostly on giant squid - versus most whales, which as baleen and plankton feeders. Instead I decided to be a little more abstract. The poem isn't a reflection of Mary's personality either (some of my other poem I try to capture the persons personality)... it's just what I felt like writing on the plane, noticing the clouds outside the window.
I dedicate this to Mary and thank her for her wisdom and shared dances. I hope we get to dance again Mary! :)
This is one in a serious of poems I've written about various animals. The motivation, is that I love the idea of spirit animals, and I decided, one day, to ask many of my friend what animal they think best represents their personality. In some cases the poems are written with the person in mind... and sometimes it's purely about the animal. Read more about my process here
. If you love this poem or want another written please e-mail me at