On the beach an overturned poplar gnawed by waves bares its sharp teeth
in a splash of white – skeleton of an antedeluvian whale –
and disfigures the landscape... How can we avoid death
if our own life is a clandestine foe?
The surf roars – as when in the gulf a rogue tornado
surprised hundreds of sailboats, tossing them about and ripping their sails.
And the brave, confronting death again just when they thought they had it beaten?...
And the timid huddled on the sidelines?...
Clouds pile up on the horizon – suicided whales. How
vile is this world if there is no hope
not even for these lords of the seas...
Will we ever come to grips with the terrifying threat:
that the road over dry land will end in death for these creatures,
and tomorrow will lead us among schools of starving fish.
Translated by Ann Diamond