Whale Survey, Raoul Island, with Rosemary Dobson

Two poets on a headland, mid-survey
might pause suddenly and say
will this be your whale, or mine?

Moving, accordingly, from one observation area
to the next, a whale is ‘handed over’.
Please take it. No, you first.
Early morning spent ‘getting the eye in’
velocity of clouds, sea conditions noted.
Breaching, logging, travelling, the Pacific
divided between Coral Bay and Tropic Bird Face
Bomb Shed, Hutchies Bluff and Blindspot. Later
Rosemary observed to a friend
from the sharpest point of her triangulation:
If I stand still enough, I can see Wolverine Rock,
a water spout and, westerly, one cow and calf.
In memory of Rosemary Dobson (1920-2012)

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