I dreamt I held a tiny whale in the palm of my big hand

Its vulnerable belly soft and pale its life and death at my command

Now I could never in all my life ever harm a whale

Yet in my dreams I took a hook and its belly did impale

What Possess-ed me to do this thing I’ll never really know

But the haunting of its anguish follows where e’er I go

I find it now impossible to go fishing by the book

And thread a bait from eye to tail on glinting Mustad hook

We all and one in pursuit of fun are guilty of the sin

Of committing heinous cruelty to our brethren of the fin

We drag them from their firmament and drown them in the air

Corralled and crushed and boiled alive

And no-one seems to care

And neither I took heed of it until this haunting dreaming

Of a tiny whale in my big hand; bleeding, pleading, screaming

I never now use living bait and never let for death long wait

Nor slice their fins before their throat

Nor with celebrating buddies gloat

At flapping prize, with fearful, glazed and staring eyes.

And never when I get serious

With Chardonnay imperious

And prawns and crabs and scallops all

Heaped upon my dish

I never dare reflect upon the things we do to fish.