do not call me Ishmael
I need my old self: the blinded, furious, obsessed Ahab
not to hunt you
to hunt those unwilling to protect you
as our world needs more of you, magnificent creatures of the oceans
your travelling songs too complex to be anything but beautiful
each of you a small forest swimming
when will you roam the oceans like in days past?
your gracious bodies a carbon dioxide store like no other
once I steered my Pequod to slaughter you
now I haunt those trawler boats of industrial whaling


In 2010, both Andrew Pershing, the Chief Scientific Officer of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, and Trish Lavery from Flinders University, published work on whales and the carbon dioxide store they represent. Restoring the whale population would increase the ocean’s ability to store and withdraw carbon. This poem combines the classic work of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick with these studies and explores how Ishmael, the narrator of the novel, would react to the diminishing global whale population.