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Whale Watching in Monterey Bay

We want to see whales, of course, guaranteed

Humpbacks, Gray whales, Orcas,

Greedily I dream of

a Sperm whale, a Blue whale,

Moby Dick the great white whale


I dream of

seals, sea otters, sea lions,

dolphins, jellyfish, great white sharks,

maybe we’ll see octopus, giant squid, eels

or selkies, the real Mer-people


Setting out from Moss Landing

raincoats, water bottles, chocolate bars

Benadryl, Gravol, motion sickness relief bands


I never dreamed of

Sea lions by the dozens on the docks

lazing, grunting, pushing, flopping

Sea otters back-floating, diving, slipping

sideways in the harbor

I dreamed of

Sunshine, sea spray, fair winds

I never dreamed of

Nine-foot swells, rolling seas, bouncing decks


Port side! Gray whale breaching spray

then he’s flipping his tail at us

I never dreamed of

predictability He’ll be rising in three, two,

there he is again

over and over


Starboard! Too small unsure

what it is

I never dreamed of

A baby Gray! Hours old by the look of her

Mom an island of light underneath

rhythm of breath and surfacing

Mom, baby, baby, Mom

baby rises twice as often

I dream of

watching them forever

if we were protection

but we leave them in peace


Bow! Port! Starboard and Stern!

I never dreamed of

hundreds of Risso’s dolphins

leaping, surfing, dancing in the waves

sea lions escort them, scrutinize us


I never dreamed of

baby Risso’s darker, smaller twin

to their mothers

perfectly in sync

arc up and down together


I dream of diving in like a needle

piercing cloth, resurfacing repeatedly

tears streaming like the Pacific off their backs


I never dreamed of

my greedy agenda being exceeded


I dream of

the mothers, the babies, the mothers, the babies

I dream of the danger

I never dreamed of


Please no Orcas, no Great White Sharks,

no Orcas, no Great White Sharks





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