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San Clemente Journal

INTERLUDE by Mary Jo West

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INTERLUDE  by Mary Jo West                                                                                                                                                                   

On a sunny, cloudless day

we sail from Dana Point Harbor

to Catalina Island.


Mid way on our journey a

 fifty foot Blue Whale

 breaches then dives, within

  ten feet of our boat.


Except for the sound of

midnight blue water splashing

 against the vessel’s white hull,

 there’s an eerie silence waiting

 for this denizen to reappear.


She emerges,

majestically arches her body in

 mid air, and plunges

  back into the sea.


Rocking side to side,

  our boat nearly capsizes as

the tip of the mast skims

  the surface of the water.


Plume of putrid debris

expelled from her blowhole

surrounds us as she

 floats to the top.


Down the center of her back,

 fluorescent turquoise hue of

 air bubbles and barnacles

reflect in the sun.


Undaunted by our presence

this gentle giant allows us to

 sail beside her, as

 a constant companion,

changing our course as

she changes hers.



watching her scarred fluke

 submerge for the last time,

she disappears and continues

on her way,


our remarkable interlude.