Whale Fall & Black Sage: Poems of the Journey
When a whale dies, it becomes whale fall. Its body, an immense ecosystem, sinks slowly to the ocean floor. For years, sometimes, the vast world sinks. The ecosystem changes. Visitors come and go.
First come the ratfish, hagfish and sharks who smell flesh and swim in to feed. When it reaches bottom, worms, crustaceans and mollusks move in to consume what is left, until in the end there are only bones.
Bacteria begin breaking down lipids inside the bones, generating sulfur. New bacteria move in. The whale has left our upper world of light-sourced life and has become a sulfur-based world like that of deep water lava flows.
Whale Fall is also an imaginary universe, an inner world of transformation. Its infinite layers of meaning, its real and imaginary visitors, its darkness and its light, make up the universe of these poems.
In Whale Fall & Black Sage, the natural world of Here Along Cazenovia Creek has deepened and become transformative. The book ends with a joyous, fully embodied Whitmanesque crow.