The Eye of the Whale

Homero Aridjis

         ‘And God created the great whales…’
         Genesis, 1:21
                                     For Betty


And there in San Ignacio Lagoon

God created the great whales

and each creature that moves

on the shadowy thighs of the waters.


God created dolphin and sea lion,

blue heron and green turtle,

white pelican, golden eagle

and double crested cormorant.


And God said unto the whales:

‘Be fruitful and multiply

in acts of love that are visible

on the surface


only through a bubble

or a fin, flapping,

while the cow is seized on the long

prehensile penis below;


there is no splendour greater than a grey

when the light turns it silver.

Its bottomless breath is

an exhalation.’


And God saw that love

between the whales

and the sporting with their calves

in the magical lagoon was good.



And God said:

‘Seven whales together

make up a procession.

One hundred, a daybreak.’


And the whales came up

to spot God over

the dancing gunnels of the waters

and God was sighted by a whale’s eye.


And whales filled

the waters of the earth.

And the evening and the morning

were the fifth day.



San Ignacio Lagoon,

1 March 1999




Aridjis, Homero. “The Eye of The Whale.” Trans. George McWhirter. Eyes to See Otherwise: Selected Poems = Ojos, de otro mirar. Eds. Betty Ferber and George McWhirter. New York: New Directions Book, 2002. p. 224.

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