Labaleen and the Whaler
There she hangs aloft! Twisted devil-horns
upon a head of green, translucent skin.
See those razor teeth! With two curved fangs that,
as the maw snaps shut, clamp hard against her
hungry, drooling chin.
Her leering, longboat grin, aloof upon
a writhing neck of shining copper scales
that blossom splendid on her righteous breast,
while rows of sea-green thorns adorn her back,
and taper down her tail.
Her ever-flicking tail that quickens feline-like
to balance her in hovering flight on great
reptilian wings; flogging tireless, back and forth,
back and forth, while baleful, burning eyes gaze
down upon the mates.
Those cowed shipmates, now trembling
beneath her cruel, malevolent sight
that sweeps the deck, as if selecting who
among those whalers to consume to sate
her vengeful appetite.
At once, with spite unbound she folds her wings,
extends her claws, and drops toward
the scattering crew; men who’ve slain a thousand
whales and have until this dreadful day survived
the worst of Neptune’s Horde.
Then at the last she spreads those flighty limbs
and swooping over-deck, scoops high
a harpoon-man in one prehensile claw,
and steals away her prize; triumphant roar
consumes the whaler’s mournful cry.