Whalesong by Angela Platt

Last week Coleridge in Wales visited Cwtsh Writers in Newport – the variety and depth of response to the festival was a true representation of what we’re trying to discover. With that in mind some of the writers have generously agreed to have their work included, as archive, on this blog.



These sensitive beings

thread paths through liquid gloom.

In giant colanders sieve plankton, fish

and krill in brine, weave in and round

invisible peaks. Their suckled young learn play,

and spool the long day’s youth, leap-dive

race-swim, fish-browse, jet-spray, frolic, hunt,

arc-spin, basking the ocean’s breadth.


At twenty hertz  their crests of sound

in frequencies below piano keys

surpass the register of human ears;

mysterious antiphonal lyricists

manuscript an aural congruence,

a plainsong symphony.


Migrations leave, sometimes mid-song,

next season’s notes are seamlessly

lacunae-patched like stitches laced,

precise in continuity. New lyrics grow,

a repertoire of intricate complexity

embracing the ocean’s space.


Cross-signal waves from shipping

interweave their song,

confusing social harmony.

Miasma sounds their boundaries,

bottles, cans and plastic bags.

The fragile ocean shrinks

bereft of soul, lifeblood.

Of their sanguinity.



Angela Platt

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