We are whaling, we are whaling, call me
Ishmael, the lucky bugger who found a tree
trunk drifting in lukewarm Horse Latitudes
and fashioned a canoe: sound, swift, bit crude;
but still, given the hairy circumstances,
he avoided the Fish’s necromancies.
Sat here on blustery Selsey Bill, chill
blasts of wintry Solent swoop the feral
groynes, sloppy creosoted and duned
with mounds of heave-hoed pebbles; propelled
from an ocean of discarded dying hulks,
Trainee corpses for the breakers yard: shelled.
This leviathan could not give tuppence worth
with his Moon and Sixpence and an old hair shirt.