You might ask, “Why do I help the Vaquita?”
And my answer is, “Why wouldn’t I?”
I cannot force myself to think of a world without Vaquita.
They have helped shape much of my young life, from the early online research to now.
They have inspired me to do things I never thought were possible—or had the courage to do.
They have given me the confidence to stand up and make a difference in this dying world.
They have presented me with endless ideas for poems, books, and artwork.
They have saved me with the knowledge that I am saving them, and they still have a chance.
The Vaquita has given me so much, and now it is my turn to give back to them.
I know the day the Vaquita dies will make me want to do the same.
It is this fear of loss that has pushed me for years to make a change.
And you may ask, “Why save the Vaquita?”
And my answer will always be, “Why not?”
Sun made its way
to her back,
Casting a morphing shadow
on the powdery sand.
Bubbles slipped out of her lungs,
dancing to the swirling surface.
She rose up
toward the beckoning sun.
Her blowhole inhaled
the salty air,
Refilling her lungs
like a balloon.
She noticed a ship
in the distance.
Binoculars and cameras faced her,
She floated in glory,
admired by the many people.
She was beautiful.
The boat rocked with every rolling current
As I slowly fed my net into the swirling aqua sea.
I watched as the floats drifted off,
Knowing the next time I would touch them,
I would be hauling hundreds of shrimp onto this deck.
I leaned against the cabin window,
I thought of my beautiful family:
My wife and son.
This was for them.
A large mob of gulls swarmed around the boat:
There must have been something in the water.
Spitting tobacco overboard, I began to pull in the net.
Inch by inch,
Foot by foot.
It was too late.
She was already gone.
A dead Vaquita lay mangled in the mesh,
Lifeless and dripping in blood from the lacerations.
I sat down on the deck and began to cry.
A vision, a ghost.
The Vaquita is hidden,
Never to be found.
Or is that silver fog that
Frequents the water’s surface
A lone Vaquita?
Surely it cannot be so.
For years ago we
Wiped the species from the Earth.
But now it is too late. Or is it?
The Vaquita has a reason to fret:
When the Mexican sun begins to bake,
Fisherman fish, for their family’s sake.
Out, their nets (to catch fish and shrimp) are set.
When our friends get trapped, their matches they’ve met,
They can’t escape, it’s not a piece of cake.
The Vaquita then dies; its life God takes.
Again, Vaquita are conquered by net.
There is an answer. We don’t have to seek.
If we get the nets out of the water
Vaquita’ll thrive with our sons and daughters.
Their warbles will be as smooth as honey.
Our children’ll see the Vaquita, so meek,
But all we need is a lot more money.
A Vaquita inhales the ripe sea air,
Causing a scare.
After a pause he rolls into the deep.
Downward he creeps.
Through the kelp and grass he winds to and fro,
Swiftly he goes.
He locates and chases a huge plump grunt.
He’s on the hunt.
He catches the fish and travels due west;
He does not rest.
Caught in a trap, he whines, wiggles, and frets.
Conquered by net, conquered by net.
Echolocate, Dive, Swim
Vaquita need your help.
*I am excited to say I am getting my non-Vaquita poem, The Egg, published in a poetry book! I recommend checking out the website, http://www.poeticpower.com/. You can read the poem below:
An egg was on the dunes of the lovely beaches of St. June’s.
One fine day the egg had split, a tiny beak popped out a bit,
Out came a little gull, of which species, I can’t recall.
Covered with fluff, not very tough,
The chick was rather pathetic.
Feathers bold, feathers long, the mother was firm and strong,
And to the most extent, athletic.
As the years passed, the chick grew too.
The sun at full blast, he flew and flew.
He flew and flew where blue met blue.
Salt whipping at his face,
He raced and raced and raced and raced.
The beautiful gull had crossed the sea
And found a spot beneath a tree.
He got a mate, not a second late,
On the lovely beaches of Regg.
They dug a ditch, the female flinched.
And then she laid an egg.
ATTENTION! Do you think you can write a good Vaquita poem? Let’s find out! I’m creating a Vaquita poetry contest for you! Write the best poem you can, and submit it in the comment section. If my fellow judges and I think your poem is really outstanding, I will use it as one of my future poems, giving you full credit. There can be multiple winners. The deadline is 12:00 am on January 10, 2012. I hope to read some great poems!