Orca of the vast shark's fin
travelling in a pod
through Lemaire channel
three or four of you, a family
in discourse, sounding,
nosing your way through drift ice
delighting the bird watchers on our prow
to peals of excited recognition.
O you formidable gods of the deep waters
they say like tigers
you are kind to one another
and have never eaten man!
Struck with awe
I say nothing as mortals peal about me;
such dark capacity.
Sea-dogs of the deep
formidable in the tamed ferocity
of your calm advance
conning towers on high
knowingly proceeding unflapped
by our mass or engines!
Awe struck, I say nothing,
my eyes devour your strange procession.
Gone down now in icy waters
ever onward your smooth advance.
Tiger whales of the southern ocean