Wood, bone, rust

The legacy of the whaling massacres lie along the beaches and slopes. The textures of slaughter linger, irremedial.. Unsanitised, unhidden, unsafe.
Curved wood: boat ribs, fractured thwarts, scraps distorted by wind and snow and sea, weathered to palest white. Eroded planks, holed and stained by vanished nails.lie, wood-fingers pointing without meaning at hills and rocks, tossed into place by the random waves.

Bones are litter. Wingnut vertebrae, the disc a meter across. Tiny fragments lie everywhere, chewed from big bones fractured on the rocks, and the hand-like claw of a penguin nestles against the ancient skull. Great rib-arches have been laid low to bend around the pebbles, sinuous as a seal’s spine, still as the stone. Weathered from bone-white to darker ivory, striated and scored by the pebbles. Bone to wood. Wood to bone.

Against the grass and sky squat the rust-gliness of silos, the struts of huts left to rot and fall, the iron roofs tumbled to lean awry or mould the mud in their image. Rust pipes run, bring clean lake water down the shit-filled stream to the shore. At the lake’s edge, too, rust barrels stand, yet more fresh water stored for cleaning blubber from knives and decks.

Kelp strands lie along the beach, knots of ropes tossed up by recent winds, leaching their deep red as the bleaching, drying, salting wind turns them ochre, red-oxide, brown tinged yellow, a fading bruise becoming dark brown-red and  black. The flopping leaves and thick trunk-stems resemble scraps of iron and wire-rope which coil and corkscrew under of penguin-feet and seal-fins, discolouring the thin sand. Kelp and rust. Rust and kelp.

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One Comment

  1. JoAnne O'Brien-Levin

    Really beautiful, poignant. I have a spirit connection with whales. This really spoke to me. -j

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